UK’s FSB launches campaign to tackle late payments to small businesses

The UK’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new campaign designed to pressure the government to tackle poor payment practices in the country.

Fair Pay Fair Play is hoping to encourage new reforms to stop late payments to small firms, with the message of “everyone deserves to be paid on time.”

FSB is encouraging all its members to get involved by posting videos, photos or messages on social media platforms backing the campaign.

From research conducted by the group, it found 84 per cent of small firms report being paid late, with a third of these claiming at least one in four payments comes late. Further to this, nine of ten public sector suppliers say they have been paid late.

This campaign is expected to last a month and will lead up to the spring statement in March. It is also aiming at the Chancellor’s promise in last year’s statement of tackling the issue.

The FSB is calling for the government to enlist the help of non-executive directors, bolster payment enforcement and adopt project bank accounts in public procurement.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said, “Poor payments is a problem that so many of our small businesses can relate to. As a country, we are behind almost every other industrialised nation in our ability to pay small businesses on time.

This problem isn’t a new one and despite some positive action from Government, far too many of our small firms are still subjected to late payments and bullying from some big businesses who take advantage of their dominant position.”

“As this year’s Spring Statement approaches, small businesses want the Chancellor to follow up these words with the tangible actions. Our reforms are not the silver bullet that will suddenly signal the end of poor payment practices but are certainly important and necessary steps towards this. I am calling on all politicians and big businesses to back these reforms and show that they believe in fair pay and fair play.”

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