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Candidate FAQs

General FAQs | Client FAQs

What is a Candidate?

A Candidate is someone looking to sell their services to organisations on a contract or permanent basis.

Who can be a Candidate?

Anyone can become a Candidate with people4business, including sole traders, those working through a limited company, through a consultancy and those working through an umbrella organisation.

I trade as a Limited Company, can I be a Candidate?

Yes! We need you to supply us with your company name and number and your bank details – which we will ask for when you gain your first contract through people4business.

We also recommend that you check the limited company opt-out box. This means that you opt-out of The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003. This can help you to ensure that you are not caught by the IR35 tax rules, which were designed to ensure that contractors were not unfairly avoiding taxes.

Find out more about Limited Companies

I don't trade through a Limited company, can I be a Candidate?


You can work as a sole trader through any of the people4 sites, but please note that all of our Candidates need to be paid through a limited company.

If you are a sole trader, you can register with an umbrella company when you get your first contract. It is quick and straightforward to register and the company will handle all the tax and National Insurance contributions on your behalf.

If you are sole trader earning over £25,000 per year, it may be advisable to set up a limited company, which would increase your take home pay.

Find out more about umbrella companies.

I’m not freelance, can I be a Candidate?

Yes, you are welcome to register as a Candidate. If you are considering going freelance, you may want to look at our new to freelancing page. Please remember we also do permanent recruitment – just let us know whether you are interested in permanent or contract work – or both!

Please bear in mind that you will need to be paid through a limited company so that we can be sure that you are meeting all your tax and national insurance obligations. If you are new to freelancing, it will be easiest for you to register with an umbrella company.

How do I become a Candidate?

Registration is simple and completely free.

You simply need to tell us a few details about yourself and prove your eligibility to work in the UK.

Once you’ve filled out those details and agreed to our terms and conditions, you can begin selecting your skills.

See more details on our How to register page.

What does it cost to register?

It costs you absolutely nothing to register on people4business!

We add a management fee on top of your hourly rate to cover our costs.

You can choose to become a Premier Member – you’ll benefit from enhanced listings, with a more prominent entry and twice as much space for your brief description. You’ll also get top position in Clients’ searches and will be featured in our Contractor Showcase on the people4 home pages.

Premier Membership – Special Offer £75.00 + VAT £56.26 + VAT for a year – £8.50 + VAT per month

Am I eligible to work in the UK?

Holders of British, EEA or Swiss passports are eligible to work in the UK.

Holders of any other passport should contact so that we can confirm your eligibility to work in the UK. Once we have confirmed this, we will provide you with a Verification number which allows you to complete the registration process.

For more information on how we verify your right to work in the UK, look at our ID verification page.

How do I apply for assignments?

You need to be a registered Candidate to apply for an assignment.

Details of assignments that have been posted but not yet filled, are put up on our job board. You can then apply by sending a short message to the Client which we forward to them together with a link to your details. The Client will contact you if they are interested.

Please check regularly for new assignments.

I’ve been shortlisted, how do I contact the Client?

When you are shortlisted, the Client is given your contact details. It is up to the Client to get in touch with you.

How will I be paid?

All our Candidates need to be paid through a limited company.

If you are trading as a limited company, we can make payment for your contracts direct into your company bank account.

If you are not trading as a limited company, you will need to register with an umbrella company, which will handle your payments and deduct tax and national insurance on your behalf.

When will I be paid?

The majority of Clients select four-weekly invoicing and weekly timesheets.

For four-weekly invoicing, the invoices will be generated when the final weekly timesheet for the period is approved. We settle your invoice at 30 calendar days after submission of an approved final or end-of-month timesheet.

The quicker you fill out your timesheets, the quicker we can generate your payment.

What is an umbrella company?

An umbrella company provides a specialist payroll service for contractors and consultants. Their main purpose is to ensure that you meet all your tax and National Insurance obligations. Some companies may provide additional benefits, such as Professional Indemnity insurance cover, public liability insurance and contributory pensions.

Umbrella companies have become much more popular since the IR35 tax rules were introduced.

Both sole trader Candidates and those working through limited companies can use umbrella companies to manage their taxes.

What is IR35?

IR35 is a piece of tax legislation introduced in 2000 to prevent employees avoiding the tax and National Insurance Contributions associated with employment by being paid through their own Limited Company. The rules can apply to sole traders and to those operating through their own limited company.

See more details on IR35

What if a Client contacts me to bypass people4?

You need to be aware that our terms and conditions state that any Client who finds your details through a people4 site has to enter into a contract with you through people4business Limited.

Any Client or Candidate who circumvents people4business will be barred from the site and risks legal action being taken against them. We follow up on all contacts made between Clients and Candidates.

How do I fill in my timesheet?

You will need to fill in your timesheet on a weekly basis at least.

Remember to click ‘Save’ once you have updated your timesheet, this saves the hours you have put in.

However, saving your timesheet does not submit the timesheet to the Client, you must click 'submit' to do that. You need to submit a timesheet to your Client on a weekly basis, or when the contract ends.

How do I submit a timesheet?

When you have input your hours for a week, click to confirm that your hours are accurate, then you can submit the timesheet to your Client. Your Client then has two working days to approve or reject your timesheet.

How do I include overtime in my timesheet?

You can only include overtime if your Client has agreed to it in the contract terms.

When you fill in your hours for that day you can include additional hours at a multiple of your standard hourly rate.

You do this by clicking on the overtime box at the top of your timesheet (this will only be activated if overtime has been agreed) and inputting your additional hours and the multiplier.

Your Client will need to agree to these overtime hours in the usual way.

Overtime – for the purposes of people4 timesheets – refers to hours that you have worked, above the standard daily hours, which are charged at a higher hourly rate.

What if the Client rejects my timesheet?

If the Client rejects your timesheet the hours that have been rejected are highlighted in red, you can amend these details and resubmit it.
The Client is also able to add a comment to explain why the timesheet has not been approved.

My question hasn’t been answered

Please get in touch with your question and we’ll answer it and add it to our FAQs list:

email us! | Call our dedicated team of experts 0845 371 0722

last updated 30.07.12

Premier Members

Candidate 240271 211.76 p/hr

Heathfield, East Sussex, UK.

Chartered Director. Experienced International business Executive, having started, owned and sold several technology and media-based enterprises. Particularly strong on board-level strategic planning and execution. Seeking Board-level strategic appointments, Boardroom Performance appraisal and enhancement projects, and Non-Executive roles. Interested in UK and non-UK roles.

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