We have created an information hub to support our Orange Genie Accountancy clients, our Umbrella Employees and agencies where the the Covid-19 rules and legislation are explained for recruiters, contractors and the self-employed. Click here to find out more>>

Additional Support for your Umbrella Company Contractors

Umbrella Company

One unexpected consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that the differences between umbrella companies have become more apparent. Since all compliant umbrella companies operate under the same rules, and umbrella margins are usually too small to make much difference to a contractor’s take-home pay, it has historically been difficult to choose between them. Now, with virtually the entire workforce under pressure in some way, it’s much easier to tell if an umbrella company cares about supporting their employees.

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Why recruiters should care how an umbrella company treats their contractors

We’re not suggesting for a moment that you don’t care about your contractors, and obviously if you’re recommending an umbrella company you want make sure it’s the best one available. The question we’re asking is whether there’s a business reason to involve yourself in the contractor’s experience, beyond ensuring decent levels of service and compliance.

Where contractors feel properly valued and rewarded, they’ll stay with you for longer, take less time off, generate fewer complaints and do a better job. This means you have an easier time retaining high quality contractors, you spend less time resolving queries and your clients are more likely to hire from you in the future.

Simply paying your contractors more, even if you were able to do so, does not produce this effect. In order to feel truly valued, they need to be treated well and supported in a way that doesn’t feel like a transaction. The Covid-19 pandemic has given umbrella companies the opportunity to do this very thing.

How Orange Genie support your contractors

As a responsible and forward-thinking umbrella company, we are determined to support our employees wherever we can. Long before Covid-19 we were already providing benefits and services to help them make their money go further, look after themselves and their families and get the most out of life as contractors. Here are some of the ways we’ve supported our employees over the last few months.

Making their money go further

Many people have seen their finances squeezed during the pandemic and contractors are no exception. Projects have been cancelled or shelved as clients scrambled to cut costs, new contract work has proved difficult to find and schools have closed leaving supply teachers out of work. At the height of the pandemic, when money was tight and small luxuries took on a greater importance, our Discount Outlet came into its own.

Discount Outlet gives your contractors a number of easy ways to save money, including:

  • Discounts at major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and M&S
  • Instant vouchers for in-store and online purchases
  • Cashback on thousands of products and services
  • Easy saver card giving 7.5% discount at over 40 retailers

As you can see from the figures below, use of Discount Outlet increased markedly at the height of the pandemic as more contractors looked for ways to save money.

  February March April May
Discount Outlet Uses 864 1584 1341 1122

Helping them care for themselves and their families

The need to make a living while coping with a national crisis has taken its toll on everyone, and since everyone’s life is different, the pressure hit us in an enormous variety of ways. In this context, “looking after yourself” could mean many different things, from eating well and getting enough sleep, to seeking medical attention, speaking to a counsellor, starting an exercise program or seeking help with caring responsibilities.  

Access to medical care

Covid-19 has made seeking medical attention more difficult for a number of reasons. The height of the pandemic showed a marked reduction in people under 75 visiting their GP, which means people were choosing not to seek medical attention when they usually would, most likely because they were worried about the risk of infection. At the same time, NHS services were under enormous pressure, from the volume of patients, the need to implement protective procedures and staff absence due to infection.

We provide two services designed to ensure your contractors have fast access to medical care when they need it:

Personal doctor gives your contractors access to free private GP appointments by phone at any time of the day or night, and by webcam between 8:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. The service can be accessed from anywhere, there are no usage limits and prescription medication can be delivered anywhere in the UK if required.

Medical Specialist provides expert help when your contractors need specialist medical care. Our experts will guide them through the process of requesting a referral, review the surgical options and help them secure the earliest possible appointment using our Access to Care navigation tool.

  February March April May
Personal Doctor Uses 581 1380 1015 669
Medical Specialist Uses 340 916 557 430

Health and wellbeing

For many of us, lockdown underlined the importance of simple things like eating well, sleeping enough and staying active while at the same time making it a challenge to do so. Luckily for our employees, we provide several services that make it easier to take care of these things.

Your Health is a combination of a health assessment, which your contractors can take by answering a series of lifestyle questions, and a library of content to help them manage their health and wellbeing.

The assessment is designed to give them an idea of their present position, and offer advice that they can use to make simple, targeted changes to mitigate health risks and improve their quality of life.

Fitness and wellbeing provides useful information and advice to help your contractors take control of their fitness, diet, finances and mental health. It includes a gym-finder with discounts at thousands of gyms all across the UK, free to stream exercise videos, a huge library of healthy recipes, financial information from the Money Advice Service and meditation and yoga videos to help them reduce stress, sleep better and improve productivity.

 Support and counselling is our confidential counselling service, giving your contractors and their families free, unlimited access to professional counsellors at any time of the day or night. Talking to one of our experienced counsellors or psychotherapists can help them understand a problem, make a tough decision, try a different approach or just learn how to cope with a difficult situation. Expert legal and financial support is also available if needed.

  Februrary March April May
Your Health uses 623 1419 1025 738
Fitness and Wellbeing uses 592 1182 835 643
Support and Counselling uses 618 943 680 632

All these benefits and services are available to our umbrella company employees at no cost to them or you. We know from our usage figures, and from talking to our employees that were succeeding in helping them get the most out of their contracting career, and supporting them through life’s more difficult moments. This in turn means they’re more content and engaged, meaning they’ll stay in contracting for longer, take fewer days off, create less work for you and do a better job for your clients.

If you have questions, or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email info@orangegenie.com.

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