Government to support action against late payers
Most smaller businesses will have spent time chasing customers for payment beyond their agreed payment terms.
These demands take entrepreneurs away from their core tasks of business building and place unnecessary pressures on cashflow.
To assist, government is stepping in with new regulatory powers. The new measures will include:
- Extending the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017. Following consultation, Government will take forward legislation to extend payment performance reporting obligations. They will include new metrics for reporting, including a value metric, so businesses and commentators can see the value of invoices, including invoices paid late, and a disputed invoices metric. They will also introduce reporting on retention payments for businesses in the construction sector.
- Providing greater advice to small businesses on negotiating payment terms that better suit them, and on how going digital can help them get paid quicker and manage their cash flow.
- Broadening the powers of the Small Business Commissioner: Introducing broader responsibilities, enabling the Commissioner to undertake investigations and publish reports where necessary on the basis of anonymous information and intelligence. This will require primary legislation, so will be subject to the legislative timetable.
The stronger measures will benefit UK businesses by fostering a stronger payment culture and providing businesses with more predictable and reliable cash flow, allowing businesses to spend and invest with greater certainty.
It will reduce the time spent by businesses chasing payments, freeing up more time for other activities that will help them to grow. Tackling late and long payments provides an opportunity to increase investment and productivity across the economy.
This will improve payment culture in the UK to support smaller businesses, many of whom do not have the resources to accommodate long or late payments from their business customers.