Small Business Commissioner asks contractors for their two pennies' worth on late payment

A survey by the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) is offering contractors a say on late payment.

Questions posed include how clients ought to improve their payment practices; if clients think of payments ethically, or if payments are regarded as “purely a financial matter.”

Available online until December 15th, the seven-question survey allows respondents to comment more widely, so the SBC can get a “clearer picture” on current payment issues.  

'Room for improvement'

Indeed, because of coronavirus and its impacts, late payment problems may be different now to what they were, hints contractor group IPSE which is supporting the survey.

“Late payment is still an issue, possibly less so [now] than during in the height of the pandemic,” the group’s Andy Chamberlian told ContractorUK.

“But there’s still lots of room for improvement.”

'Unpredictable finances'

Chamberlain was speaking following IPSE uncovering that almost three in five contractors are concerned by “irregularity of income and unpredictable finances.”

The sheer number of individuals affected by late payment is why Safe Collections is similarly encouraging contractors to fill out the SBC’s survey.

'Toothless'

Or at least, it is encouraging participation with a caveat, as the firm’s Adam Home told ContractorUK it believes the office has not been granted the powers it needs to be effective.

“We have a complicated view of the anti-late payment commissioner,” he says. “While we think it's absolutely a good thing the office exists, it’s a bad thing it remains quite toothless.

“That said, we encourage businesses to respond to surveys on late payment, as it does remain a big issue. And one we expect will soon become yet another barrier to economic recovery.”

'We want to hear'

The Small Business Commissioner tweeted: “We’ve put out a survey on ‘late’ payments and we’re asking thousands of businesses what their experiences are.

“Are invoices overdue? Have you been told you’ll be paid in 60,90, 120 days after you submit your invoice? We want you hear your experiences.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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