Consultation on tougher payment rules closes this week

Image: Dreamstime/Lukasz Gajewski

A government consultation on proposals to make payment rules for businesses tougher is set to close this week.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said it wanted to engage with current signatories to the Prompt Payment Code on what a strengthened Code would look like.

Among the proposals on which it is seeking views is a plan to ask signatories to commit to pay 95% of invoices to smaller businesses within 30 days, and to pay 95% of invoices from all other suppliers within 60 days.

Currently, signatories of the Code undertake to pay suppliers on time within the terms agreed at the outset of the contract.

The consultation is also exploring the possibility of measuring compliance by the percentage of invoices paid to terms and the average time taken to pay invoices, as well as producing a logo to display on company websites, contracts and tenders.

Around 300 organisations have signed up to the Code during the covid-19 pandemic, according to BEIS, which said it was “keen to maintain this momentum” and see a reformed code “as a key lever in improving payment practices across companies and organisations of all sizes”.

The consultation closes tomorrow (16 October) and can be accessed here.

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