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Here at Sterling, we offer a flexible margin structure that is backed by a totally inclusive service, ensuring that you receive the highest quality service and returns from being registered with us.

As a contractor registered with us, we subcontract your services to the relevant recruitment agency, retaining a small margin from the funds received from said agency in order to process your payment.

This margin is taken prior to calculating wage and tax liabilities on recruitment agency funds.

What is SDC?

HMRC travel and subsistence legislation changes, effective 06/04/2016, stopped contractors who use an Umbrella company from claiming relief for travel and subsistence expenses, if they are considered under ‘supervision, direction and control (SDC)’ on an assignment.

Sterling now have to assess each assignment to determine eligibility for expenses. During assignments considered not under SDC, a contractor can claim travel and subsistence related expenses. For assignments falling under SDC, expenses can not be claimed, however, Sterling offer a lower margin to help compensate for this.

For more information about the legislation, please click here to view the HMRC guidance.

Our Umbrella margins

Our margin structure will vary depending on the assignment rate and SDC status, take a look over our margin outline below.



Invoice Net ≤ £150

Hourly rate up to £14.75

Hourly rate £14.76 to £15.99

Hourly rate of £16 and above

With Expense Claims







We have compiled a handy PDF to help further understand Sterling’s Umbrella Margin.

View Umbrella Margin PDF