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Industry associations pledge their support for better payment practices

Our Time for Change campaign is picking up momentum, with industry associations including the B&ES, SEC Group, APHC, ICOM, BEAMA and FETA coming out in support of ensuring retention monies are placed in trust.

Our e-petition requires 100,000 signatures to drive a Parliamentary debate on the subject. There is a further degree of urgency surrounding this, as all online petitions will be closed at the end of March next year in preparation for the general election.

H&V News is urging all readers to sign the petition as soon as they are able, then discuss the campaign with their colleagues, industry contacts and associations to ensure the message is spread as widely as possible.

Additional conversations are ongoing with other industry bodies and government representatives, with social media playing an important part - especially LinkedIn and Twitter. Further to the above, the directors of A1 Flue Systems are encouraging their industry contacts to approach their local Chamber of Commerce to encourage more people to pledge their support.

How you can get involved

Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has asked for the industry’s views on its proposals to help create responsible payment practices.

Minister of state for business, enterprise and energy Matthew Hancock said: “I am delighted to publish this consultation document on a Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Policies. This is a very important measure among a number of measures the government is taking forward through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

“Getting this new legislation right is an economic growth issue and builds upon our work to build a responsible payment culture for business. This action on transparency is part of a broad range of action we are taking to tackle late payment: statutory, through public procurement, and through culture change. As someone with a small business background myself, I know first-hand just how big an issue late payment is.”

According to the consultation, as of July 2014 the overall level of late payment owed to small and medium-sized businesses was a total of £39.4bn, with £38,2001 the average amount owed to a single company.

BIS suggested that companies report on a series of proposed reporting metrics to give an indication of their payment performance: the proportion of invoices paid beyond terms; the proportion of invoices paid over 30, 60 and 120 days; and the average time taken to pay invoices.

This could allow appropriate benchmarking of payment performance and allow suppliers to compare different customers against a standardised payment time frame.

The document argued that late payment must be tackled if businesses are to flourish and grow.

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