10 October 2018

Late payment doesn’t pay

During a session of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst MP stated that Prompt Payment Code signatories who do not respect payment terms will be investigated.

Although Tolhurst told MPs that all late payers failing to fulfil the requirements of the code would be investigated, firms in breach would not face any monetary penalties and would just be urged to follow best practice.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) believes that, without the prospect of any serious consequences for Prompt Payment Code signatories who fail to pay subcontractors on time, the Government will have a tough time tackling late payment in the construction industry’s supply chains. Neil Waters, national chair of the NFB, said:

“The Government should not only be highlighting best practice, but enabling it too. Ministers need to have a serious discussion as to whether businesses not tackling their poor payment record should be eligible for public contracts. Late payment poses a clear and present danger to the existence of SMEs and regional contractors across the construction industry. The government has a real opportunity here to bring some much needed leverage to enforce prompt payment for the benefit of the whole supply chain. The industry needs to know that late payment doesn’t pay.”