How will I get paid?

Maximising your income

Understanding PAYE and umbrella company differences

When you register with us for any kind of locum, agency or temporary work, you’ll need to choose whether you’re paid through a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or an Umbrella company.

It might seem confusing, but actually it’s pretty simple – and here’s a quick summary of your options.

A teacher showing children an abacus

Which one is best for me?

It’s up to you which option suits you best, but below are some pros and cons of each choice to help guide you:


With PAYE, you are essentially an employee of ours. Our payroll department handles your taxation and NI contributions, as well as providing you with a payslip.

And if you ever have questions regarding your work or pay, this is handled under one roof – which makes things very simple for you. Set up is easy too, and there’s no fee for arranging any of this.


  • Athona will be your single point of contact
  • No additional fees
  • Tax & NI submissions to HMRC dealt with by Athona
  • Work based pension options
  • Payslips are provided


  • Not entitled to claim business expenses
  • No opportunity for company withdrawals

Umbrella Company

Umbrella companies’ act as the employer for staff hired by agencies – and this comes with some potential upsides and downsides.

Concerned about selecting an umbrella company that’s using a tax avoidance scheme? The government have released this guide to ensure you don’t get caught out.


  • Your tax and NI will be organised for you
  • No personal responsibility for accounting
  • Full employment rights, including holiday allowances and sick pay
  • Payslips are provided


  • Inflexible pay date – this will depend on the umbrella company’s own policy
  • Normally charges apply for their services
  • Not entitled to claim business expense


If you have a P45 from a previous employer, please email this into your consultant and we can update the tax code from that. If you do not have a P45 you can complete a starter declaration found here.

This will enable us to submit your details to HMRC so they can sent us the correct tax code to use. If you are set up with an umbrella company, you will need to send these documents directly to them.

If you are paid PAYE, you will receive your payslip from us each week on either a Wednesday or Friday depending on when we have processed your timesheet. If you are paid via an umbrella company, the umbrella company will send you a payslip. Please retain these for future use, however if you require further copies, please let your consultant know and we can arrange for these to be emailed to you.

Claims are calculated on a case by case basis depending on a number of factors. If you are PAYE, please contact the payroll team for more information on how to make a claim. If you are paid via an umbrella company, you will need to discuss any claims directly with them.

Please send your new bank details to your consultant so they can forward them on to the payroll team. Any bank details received before 5pm each Friday will be updated for any payments received the following week.

When there are changes to timesheet deadlines due to a bank holiday, we will ensure we have updated this section with plenty of notice.

Please note the following upcoming changes to our payroll cut-offs for the Jubilee bank holidays:

Timesheets for week ending 29th May 2022

  • Timesheet cut off will be 10am Monday 30th May 2022
  • Payment to be received Wednesday 1st June 2022
  • Timesheet cut off will be 10am Wednesday 1st June 2022
  • Payment to be received Tuesday 7th June 2022

Deadlines the following week (timesheets for week ending 5th June) will be the usual cut offs (Tuesday 7th June at 2pm and Thursday 9th June at 2pm)

If you are paid via an umbrella company,  you will need to contact them for their specific deadlines/pay dates.

Get in touch today

To find out more or to discuss any of these options further, get in contact with your recruitment consultant today on 01277 217777.