A survey published today identifies plumbers as the worst-affected trade for late payments from customers.
The study, which said it contacted more than 1,000 tradespeople, found plumbers have to wait for up to 27 weeks to be paid, compared to the average of 15 weeks.
The survey also revealed that each trade person is owed around £800 a year, of which £770 is written off.
The figure is significantly higher for plumbers, however, with more than £1,900 written off each year and leading to 57 per cent stating they experienced problems with cash flow.
Individual consumers were the worst offenders for late pay, according to 60 per cent of respondents, with 17 per cent stating that large businesses were most often at fault.
Men in their 40s were considered the most likely to pay invoices late and 58 per cent of trades people said more affluent customers frequently paid later than others.
The survey was conducted by WorldPay.