Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Tuesday 30th April, 2019
Some of the largest and best-known companies in the country have been named among a list of firms guilty of falling behind with payments to suppliers.
The government recently toughened up its stance on the issue of late payments, which has been consistently highlighted as a major problem for small and medium-sized businesses across the UK.
A Prompt Payment Code (PPC) has been created by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), with adherents obliged to pay at least 95 per cent of their suppliers’ invoices within 60 days of receiving them.
A total of 17 companies have been ‘named and shamed’ by the CICM, on behalf of the government, as having fallen below the standards demanded by the PPC and have been removed or suspended from the list of companies officially committed to it.
The infrastructure and construction giant Balfour Beatty was named among the firms that has not stuck to the PPC guidelines, as was the home builder Persimmon, which is among the 100 largest publicly-traded companies in the country.
Other businesses named and shamed for their lack of prompt payments include the delivery firm DHL, the luxury car and engine maker Rolls-Royce, the engineering firm Laing O’Rouke and the telecoms giant Vodafone.
“The Prompt Payment Code is a positive force for good and by naming transgressors we are supporting small businesses in the supply chain,” said Kelly Tolhurst, the government minister for small businesses.
“We remain committed to supporting small businesses against poor payment practice and are delighted to see that the Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board has acted to expose those whose payment practices fall outside of their obligations to treat suppliers fairly,” she added.
Paul Uppal, who is the government’s Small Business Commissioner, has said it is “essential” that the PPC has credibility and is taken seriously as a mechanism that helps ensure small businesses get paid on time.
“My team has already recovered more than £3.5 million in late payments and is ready and available to support small businesses experiencing poor payment practices,” he said.
The government has said that from September 2019 it will be further toughening up its stance on late payments in the context of bids on public sector contracts worth £5 million or more.