No FTSE Backing For Prompt Pay
Just 25 of Britain’s biggest companies have signed up to a new code of conduct on late payments, campaigners are complaining, amid mounting frustration that small businesses, including freelancers, are being exploited.
The Prompt Payment Code, an initiative launched last year, requires signatories to promise they will pay all suppliers in line with the terms and conditions offered when work was commissioned – and that they won’t retrospectively seek to change these contracts. However, 75 FTSE 100 companies have so far failed to sign.
The disappointing take-up has prompted organisations including the Forum of Private Business and the Institute of Credit Management to challenge Britain’s biggest businesses to do better. The organisations last week wrote to all 75 FTSE 100 companies yet to sign the code urging them to do so.
The code is part of a wider campaign on late payments founded last year by Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams, which has won cross-party support. Since its launch, new research has been published revealing that small businesses, including many freelancers, are currently owed £35bn in late payments by large firms.
“The Prompt Payment Code is something all large firms could and should subscribe to - it asks nothing more from responsible businesses than to pay suppliers as and when agreed, without changing terms and conditions retrospectively,” said Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.
“FTSE 100 businesses are the true bastions of the UK's private sector and, by subscribing to the Code, they will be leading the way as they rightly should for others to follow. This is their chance to lead by example on what's an extremely important issue for small businesses.”
By David Prosser, Editor of Freelancing Matters Magazine