2 August 2018
After Build UK published data about the payment performance of its top 24 contractors, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) refuted comments made by Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol that its members were taking a “bold first step” in reforming payment practices.
Data published by Build UK showed that every single one of its 24 main contractors failed to pay their subcontractors within 30 days, with only one member paying more than 95% of their invoices within contractual terms.
The congratulatory tone taken by Build UK did not show responsible industry leadership and should have instead focussed on fostering best practice.
Change does not happen overnight but it is vital that trade associations representing the largest contractors recognise failure and identify the damage that decades of bad practice on fair payment and retentions has had on 99% of the industry, represented by SME developers and regional contractors.
Being part of that 99%, NFB members have been working very hard to place fair practice at the heart of their payment decisions.
64% of NFB members have clients who are more than 30 days late in paying outstanding invoices, but 50% of reporting NFB members pay their suppliers within 30 days. The other 50% are at able to report that they pay 98% of their invoices within the agreed terms.
While this is a positive assessment, the NFB knows that the industry needs to do more on the issue of fair payment before starting to issue self-congratulatory remarks.
Neil Walters, national chair of the NFB, said:
“Responsible leaders do not indulge in half-time celebrations when late payment is far from being eradicated. They instead look at where they stand and get on with the job of making fair payment a reality for the construction industry.”
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, added:
“NFB members have been leading by example on the issue of fair payment and have followed one simple golden rule: treat your business partners as you would wish to be treated. We must work to abolish retentions and bring fair payment to the construction industry by committing our full support to the Aldous Bill.”