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Government Announces Call for Evidence to Tackle the Problem of Late Payment

October 04 2018

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst has launched a call for evidence on payment culture to explore ways government could force large companies to put in place responsible payment practices. Government thinks this could include giving a non-executive director specific responsibility for the company's payment performance, promoting innovative technologies, and empowering trade bodies to highlight best and worst practice in payment behaviour.

Link to government consultation, closes 29 Nov 2018

At the same time, government sought to highlight some of the actions it has already taken in this area:

  • All government departments should pay at least 90% of undisputed invoices from small companies within five days and will have a dedicated director responsible for payment performance
  • Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal, is to join the Compliance Board at the Prompt Payment Code, which will now report on signatories being removed from the code

The announcement follows a recent report by My Credit Controllers highlighting the plight of businesses waiting for payment from some large companies in the UK, with some routinely taking more than 100 days to pay suppliers.

Samantha White, CEO of My Credit Controllers, said:

“Our research revealed that signatories of the Prompt Payment Code took longer to pay than the average, with 8% of payment code signatories having an average payment time longer than 70 days, compared to only a 4% of the companies in the whole sample. Clearly there is work to be done to prevent the Code being used as a cover for some large companies to talk-the-talk rather than walk-the-walk on prompt payment. “

“We welcome government's focus on technology as an enabler for small companies. Our new CreditXS online debt collection platform has already helped more than a thousand small companies collect money they were owed. “

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