15 years in business for expanding Portsmouth-based umbrella services company Liquid Friday

A COMPANY that provides self-employed contractors an alternative to setting up and working on their own has marked its 15th year in business with renewed optimism.

By Kimberley Barber
Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 8:31 am
Colin Gunnell, Liquid Friday’s CEO
Colin Gunnell, Liquid Friday’s CEO

Liquid Friday, an umbrella services company that acts as an employer for contractors working on fixed-term contracts, started in 2006.

The business has gone from modest roots in a small city centre office to supporting thousands of contractors and hundreds of recruitment agencies from its head office at Port Solent Marina.

Colin Gunnell, Liquid Friday’s CEO, said that despite a turbulent 18 months due to the pandemic, they were now looking to the future.

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Liquid Friday’s Head Office at Port Solent Marina.

He said: ‘Although we did experience a downturn in turnover, this was down to economic influences of the pandemic rather than operational capability.

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‘We continued to pay thousands of contractors throughout the peak of the crisis, including NHS and other critical workers.

‘We also successfully lobbied for clarification on the furlough scheme for umbrella company workers, and subsequently paid out over £3m in furlough payments to support our contractor workforce.

‘Coming out of the pandemic we are in a considerably better position than when we went in.

‘We’ve used the last 15 months to re-evaluate our long-term product strategy and realign our brand with our current demographic. As such we’ve already seen a marked increase in our pre-Covid volume, and we’re excited for the future.’

The company has introduced GP services and mortgage advice for employees.

Joe Taffurelli, head of group operations, said: ‘During the last lockdown we launched a free virtual GP service where the individual can book an online consultation with a UK-based registered GP 24/7.

‘The service is available to the worker, their partner and children, with all costs covered by Liquid Friday.

‘More recently we have brought in a dedicated mortgage advisor to facilitate Liquid Friday contractors in applying for the most suitable mortgage deals.

‘It’s not unusual for contractors to have mortgages declined when they approach lenders directly, because lenders tend to lack understanding around how contractors are paid and the longevity of their income.

‘This new service gives our clients the best chance of securing a mortgage, whether they are first-time buyers or homeowners wanting to switch.’

Earlier in the year, Liquid Friday also acquired London-based Stride formerly known as JobLab for an undisclosed sum.