The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed has today welcomed a report from a group of MPs calling for a clampdown on endemic poor payment culture that hits SMEs and freelancers.
Recommendations in the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s ‘Small business and productivity’ report, released today, include:
- Require all medium and large companies to sign the Prompt Payment Code, and adopt statutory payments terms of no more than 30 days;
- Give the Small Business Commissioner powers to fine persistent late payers.
Jordan Marshall, IPSE’s Policy Development Manager, said it was time to stop ‘Scrooging’ the self-employed. “Big companies must stop exploiting the self-employed and small businesses by treating them as an additional line of credit. Government and industry should treat this report as a wake-up call.
“It is totally unacceptable that larger companies are building late payment practices into their business models, something the MPs described as ‘a particularly disgraceful form of market abuse’.
“IPSE strongly backs the recommendation to give the Small Business Commissioner real teeth, enabling him to fine companies who persistently pay late.
“We also back the call of the Committee to write the Prompt Payment Code into law, which would force companies to pay within 30 days or face automatic fees.”