Monday, 06 March 2017 13:35

New Regulations Expose PLC Late Payment Data

The government has ordered all large businesses to disclose information on payment practices as it seeks to crackdown on late payment culture. From April, all enterprises which meet the qualifying criteria face a statutory Duty to Report information including the average time taken to pay invoices and details of payment dispute protocols.

The reports, which must be submitted twice a year, will be published online, giving suppliers access to critical information on the payment practices of potential larger clients.

Name and Shame

Announced in Parliament by small business minister Margot James, the new regulations follow through on a government promise to ‘name and shame’ big companies which habitually delay payments to SME suppliers.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, James said: “It’s completely unacceptable that small and medium-sized businesses are owed £26.3bn in late payments, which hampers their ability to grow and has no place in an economy that works for all.

“Large businesses have an important role to play and the guidance published today will help them fulfil their responsibilities and improve payment practices across the board.”

The new rules are backed in legislation by the Small Business Act 2015, which comes into full effect this year. Qualifying businesses will face criminal sanctions if they refuse to comply with the regulations.

Better Informed

Businesses must submit reports if they meet two out of three qualifying criteria - an annual turnover of £36m or more, a balance sheet or £18m or more, or they employ more than 250 people.

Content continues below

Monarch and Toys R Us Prove No Brand Is Too Big to Fail

It is every supplier’s worst nightmare. You have finally secured a lucrative contract with a big name global brand, giving you what feels like a sense of security and assurance for future earnings.…

17 Companies Named and Shamed for Failing to Uphold Payment Code

An initial review of payment practices under the government’s Prompt Payment Code has found 17 signatories in breach of the code’s commitments. A total of five companies - BHP Billiton, DHL, GKN Plc,…

Vertu Corporation Limited in Liquidation

Vertu Corporation Limited, the well-known British manufacturer of luxury smartphones, has finally filed for insolvency after being passed between owners since 2012. The company was known for its…

Too Prompt for the Prompt Payment Code?

As a debt recovery company tasked with chasing down overdue payments, it makes sense for us to be a signatory of the Prompt Payment Code, the voluntary code of conduct for all businesses when it…

For small suppliers, the fact that details of all reports will be publicly available is a huge boost in the battle against unfair payment practices. Reporting companies will have to submit required information via an online portal and details will then be published online within 30 days.

This will be an invaluable tool for small suppliers when making decisions about who to do business with. Each report will have to provide figures on the percentage of invoices paid within 30 days, the percentage paid between 31 and 60 days, and the average time taken to settle invoices.

Suppliers will therefore have clear evidence about which firms employ good practices and which do not. Over time, the reputational impact of this information being publicly available will hopefully encourage those with poor records to amend their ways.

The reports will also oblige qualifying companies to report full details of payment terms as well as processes for handling disputes. Again, this will mean suppliers are better informed when it comes to entering negotiations and making decisions.

The details required on payment terms and practices cover some key positives and negatives for small businesses. On the positive side, businesses will have to report if they offer flexible options such as e-invoicing and supply chain finance. On the negative, companies will be forced to reveal if the levy a charge for remaining on a supplier list, and whether this is deducted from invoices automatically.

Further Information

With more than 30 years in the business, Safe Collections is proud of our track record helping small businesses when client payments become a problem. If you would like further advice on your rights regarding late payments, or if you are looking for assistance with debt recovery and credit control, please contact us here.

Over 150 Years Of Industry Experience

Our modest but highly skilled team has a combined total of over 150 years of experience in commercial credit management and B2B debt collection. From independent IT contractors to major film and TV publishers, Safe Collections has the knowledge and experience you need to get paid quickly and cost effectively.

Image Pelican late Payment Reminder by wsssst is licensed under CC BY 2.0


8:00 - 20:00

8:00 - 20:00

Our Opening Hours Mon. - Fri.

+44 (0) 1772 454505

+44 (0) 1772 454505

Got questions? Call us today. No hard sell, guaranteed. 

© Safe Collections is a trading name of Safe Collections Limited. Incorporated 1984. Company Number: 01815264. VAT Number: GB407358159. All Rights Reserved.