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  1. #1

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    Thumbs down Parasol Group: A Warning (Do not use this Umbrella Company)

    Hi all.

    I just wanted to share my experience with Parasol. If you are thinking of using them, my one piece of advice to you is: don't. Find a different umbrella, or go Limited.

    I did some work with them for a two month contract (or thereabouts) a few months ago, and inputted my time sheets correctly, weekly, as you are meant to.

    Parasol claim that you'll get paid weekly but I found that this was a false promise. I didn't get paid weekly but I'm not sure if this was to do with them or another third party. Either way - I didn't get paid weekly regularly. It sometimes happened, sometimes didn't.

    Anyway - I was putting in my time sheets weekly, and then one day towards the end of my contract, someone at Parasol's end logged into my account and merged all my weekly time sheets into two or three big chunks. I'm not sure what the logic was behind this - but it meant that I couldn't then differentiate between weeks, and the total pay became two or three larger sums (sorry, I can't fully remember how many chunks but I know they merged my separate weekly payments into larger chunks).

    Because Parasol take a big chunk of your pay anyway, and also NI and tax, it's not the easiest calculation to make to determine what your total pay should be when it's all merged together (for no reason!). So they condensed my last few weeks into these bigger payments, and paid me all at once.

    A month or two later, I had an email saying they had incorrectly paid me, and turns out they'd overpaid me by 600. Whoever had messed with my time sheets, had overlapped some and made an error which meant they'd mixed up some dates and ended up paying me twice.

    As I had no record of my weekly invoices because they had amended what I'd put in, I had to go back and forth for ages trying to work out what was correct and what wasn't, but they're so cagey about what they take off, that it was quite confusing to try and work out the totals they should have been.

    Lesson to me - obviously I should have tracked my days and invoices in my own record system, rather than relying on Parasol. I just had no idea that they would do this.

    Anyway - when I was trying to work all this out, a couple of weeks later they changed their story and added on an extra 250 that I owed them, claiming they'd made a mistake. This does not make me think that they are trustworthy!

    Anyway - long story short, I have to pay them 800 back because they overpaid me. Which I think is totally unacceptable due to it being no fault of my own. I'm new to freelancing, and when your pay varies so much from month to month, it's not hard to see how I didn't notice this - especially when they merge all your payments together - for no reason! Except maybe they knew what they were doing and just want to make some extra cash?! Who knows.

    TL;DR - Parasol didn't pay me when they said they would, mucked up my timesheets and then cocked up my payments. Don't use Parasol.

  2. #2

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Don't forget that they are now part of the conglomerate that now owns Parasol, Clear Sky Accounting, SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams.
    "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Cicero

  3. #3
    eek
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    bored now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldorf View Post
    Don't forget that they are now part of the conglomerate that now owns Parasol, Clear Sky Accounting, SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams.
    And contractor umbrella (as that was SJD's umbrella branch).

    However this looks like incompetency which should be highlighted as such - there is no way that someone should take a set of timesheets and change them once they've been entered by the contractor...
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  4. #4

    Still gathering requirements...


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    I was informed last week that parasol will allow expenses for PS clients!

    Also my experience with them in the past. was awful, Swedish derivation, stoppages for sickness and holidays not processing all expenses, promising it would all be paid back at end of contract.

    They then gave me a 32 page form to complete to send to HMRC for the money which was not repaid. During the contract I brought home less than 50%, every week there was an excuse and the promise of the missing money.

    I would not use or recommend them.

  5. #5

    TripleIronDad

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    What did they say when you contacted them?
    Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

  6. #6

    More time posting than coding

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    And contractor umbrella (as that was SJD's umbrella branch).
    SJD Accountancy was sold off not CU
    Just watching what I say

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    eek
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucycontractorumbrella View Post
    SJD Accountancy was sold off not CU
    Glad to hear it. After the story above I was concerned my recommendations were in vain....
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  8. #8

    More time posting than coding


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    Having to use Parasol with Hays many year ago was the main driver for going limited. I had a number of conversations with them which went along the lines of :-
    Q Please can you explain how you have calculated xxxxxx as it appears to be wrongly calculated.
    A We have calculated this correctly. You are wrong. (no explanation)
    Actually I was right & they were wrong - but it took an email to one of their directors to get them to look properly! Even then they didn't refund the full amount, but I lost the will to fight it further (only a few wrong)
    Sorry to hear they haven't improved since then.

  9. #9

    TripleIronDad

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    Interesting that no-one from Parasol has responded.
    Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

  10. #10

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    Interesting that no-one from Parasol has responded.
    Perhaps someone from one of their sister companies; SJD, Nixon Williams or ClearSky will give them a nudge?
    "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Cicero

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