Proposed crackdown on late payments


A recent article in Credit-Connect discusses the Government launch of a consultation aimed at giving more powers to the Small Business Commissioner (“SBC”) to support businesses and resolve issues with late payments.

It is estimated that £23.4bn worth of late payments are owed to small firms across the UK, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the practice of late payment has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, threatening the survival of many businesses.

In an effort to tackle this problem, it is proposed that the SBC’s powers will be expanded to include the power to:

  • order businesses to pay in good time and issue fines if they do not pay after being ordered to;
  • order companies to share information on payment practices; and
  • launch investigations into suspected bad payment practice (including the power to claim investigation costs from an investigated company when there are findings against them).

Whilst businesses will likely be encouraged that the Government is seeking to create a culture of prompt payment across UK business in the future, the proposed reforms may well come too late for business owners who are currently facing cash-flow difficulties as a result of late payment.

If you need assistance in recovering monies owed to you, please contact a member of the Business Services Team at Barker Gotelee.

Sarah Mower specialises in business insolvency and restructuring within the Business Services department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.

Ipswich Insolvency Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk