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Professional Passport Sets the Standards

In the first of a two-part article we examine the issue of holiday pay for employees of umbrella companies and look at how Professional Passport is setting the standards within the umbrella industry to ensure transparency from providers.

Holiday Pay

The recent Pimlico Plumbers case has drawn attention to the issue of back-dated holiday pay for employees of umbrella companies, leading to ramifications for both workers and umbrella companies.

The case marked a long-running dispute about holiday pay. A Supreme Court judge recently overturned a previous ruling in favour of the individual who raised the claim, ruling that he was entitled to a payment in respect of the unpaid leave’.


The implications of this case will have a significant impact on the umbrella sector and on how umbrella companies manage their workers’ holiday pay. It is already a contentious issue, generating headlines for those providers who have tried to profit from the withholding of unclaimed holiday pay.

The crux of the matter seems to be that some umbrella companies are less than transparent with their information to workers on their holiday pay entitlement, how to claim it and the consequences of not claiming by a certain date. What Smith v. Pimlico Plumbers has highlighted is the legal imperative for umbrella companies to fully inform workers about their rights and encourage them to claim their holiday pay. It also means that should umbrella companies fail to meet this legal obligation their workers can claim for any holiday pay that they have lost. This means that the onus is now on the umbrella company to inform, and encourage, their workers of their rights in relation to holiday pay entitlement.

Professional Passport has long argued for transparency within the industry as a vital means to exposing bad practice and changing behaviours. Its CEO, Crawford Temple, has been particularly vocal about the importance of delivering clear information to workers on holiday pay entitlement via software reporting systems so that information about holiday pay is clear and detailed.

In the second part of this article we will examine the steps that Professional Passport believes are necessary to benefit the whole of the umbrella industry, both workers and companies, and urge providers to adopt a common industry standard.

If you are looking to work with an Umbrella company, visit the Approved Providers list from Professional Passport, the UK’s largest independent assessor of payment intermediary compliance. If you are an agency or organisation using or looking to engage with an umbrella company and need advice, please contact

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