Self-employed back Business Minister on making late payment a criminal offence


IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, has today (Tuesday 31 January) welcomed Small Business Minister Margot James’ announcement, that large companies’ failure to report how quickly they pay suppliers will be a criminal offence.

Recent IPSE research has found that freelancers on average spend 20 days a year chasing invoices for late payment. The time spent equates to an estimated £16.5 billion in lost income.

According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, from April 2017 large companies and limited partnerships (LLPs) will have to publically report twice a year on their payment practices and performance, including the average time taken to pay supplier invoices.

Commenting on the announcement, Senior Policy Adviser Adam Waters said: “It’s outrageous that the average freelancer spends 20 working days chasing invoices each year. Time chasing invoices is time not working, and for some that could be the work that keeps their business afloat.

“It’s good to see the Government finally clamping down on late payment, an issue which has long hampered the income of the UK’s smallest businesses. Government must now ensure the Small Business Commissioner, set to come into action this year, is given appropriate powers to tackle late payments and settle disputes quickly. This is vital in improving the UK’s payment culture for the 4.8 million self-employed.”

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