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Build UK Suppliers Not Paying Invoices Within 30 Days

Not one major contractor member of Build UK pays supply chain invoices within an average of 30 days.


For years, late payment has weakened British business, damaging cash flow and driving many firms into insolvency. The construction industry suffered more than most, with Carillion’s demise shaking up the whole supply chain. The government has attempted late payment initiatives, appointed small business ministers, but little has actually been achieved.

As part of the government’s new transparency rules, trade body Build UK has published the payment performance of all its contractors. Quickest payer Willmott Dixon paid its suppliers within 33 days, while Murphy Group took 66 days to pay its invoices! While drawing focus to late payers is a bold first step, it is imperative that something is done about it. Large contractors will not be scared by the spotlight and swift action is needed to prevent irreversible damage to the business landscape.

The government has long resisted a tough approach in regards to late payment, hesitant to impose penalties or fines on perpetrators. This new transparency approach by Build UK is synonymous with the government’s restrained efforts. Sub-contractors are getting impatient, sceptical about the publication and eager to see what government are “going to do about it”.  If publishing payment practices is as far as it goes for Westminister, firms will have to start looking after themselves.



Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE: ‘This bold first step by Build UK and its members shows that the leaders within the sector are serious about changing the way they do business.”

Transparency is key to improving payment practices, but more will be needed to extinguish late payment altogether. Government efforts have proved ineffective and responsibility instead lies with individual firms, and more importantly, how their credit control procedures can keep late payers at bay.

Late payment is of course not restricted to construction. The industry was certainly hit hard, but CPA has found retailers and restaurant owners to have suffered comparable bouts of financial distress. At the Credit Protection Association, we are faced with endless cases of ravaged cash flow, bad debt and poor credit decisions. Their one common denominator? Always late payment.

Alongside our debt recovery and credit management services, we have launched a new service that will recover compensation for those victims of late payment.

Taking advantage of the rarely used Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, we recover interest and compensation for past invoices that were paid late. This, in turn, has unlocked hidden cash and potential for our Members and brightened their prospects and confidence, even in the current business landscape.

Please call us on 0330 053 9263 to discuss how CPA can help your cashflow.
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