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Late payments worsen despite recent Government reforms
by The Editor at 11:24 25/07/22 (News on Business)
Freelancer group, IPSE, has unveiled the top ten worst offending businesses for late payments in the UK, following the launch of its new Payment Practices Index.
Since April 2017, large-sized companies and limited liability partnerships have been required to report their payment practices to Government on a half-yearly basis. As part of efforts to improve payment practices by companies in the UK, IPSE has collated the latest release of payment data from the UK Government.

  • MINSTER LAW LIMITED (469 days)
  • SUTTON MAINTENANCE LIMITED (395 days)
  • CANARY WHARF LIMITED (327 days)
  • PUBLICIS MEDIA EXCHANGE LIMITED (278 days)
  • ENI ELGIN/FRANKLIN LIMITED (251 days)
  • ISG INTERIOR SERVICES GROUP UK LIMITED (249 days)
  • ERNST & YOUNG (ASIA-PACIFIC) SERVICES LIMITED (192 days)
  • ARRIVA RAIL NORTH LIMITED (177 days)
  • RANK DIGITAL LIMITED (145 days)
  • MARKEN LIMITED (141 days)

Self-employed
To coincide with the Payment Practices Index, IPSE is also publishing new research on the impact of late payments on self-employed workers. The research finds that despite recent efforts by the Government to clamp down on late payments, over a third of self-employed workers (35 per cent) still haven’t been paid on time in the last 12 months - with nearly one in five reporting that they had to wait over three months for a client to send over what they are legally owed.

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The research also found that the average amount owed to freelancers due to late payment has remained relatively stable over the past two years, rising from £5,140 in 2020 to £5,230 in 2022.

Andy Chamberlain from IPSE said: “Late payments can be threatening to self-employed workers at the best of times. However, at time when the country is going through an unparalleled squeeze in living standards, the failure to clamp down on late payments is fatal to freelancers and the future of self-employment.

“While the Government has made good progress in tackling late payment in recent years by creating the Small Business Commissioner role and promoting the Prompt Payment Code, more still needs to be done. For instance, the next Prime Minister must go a step beyond the Prompt Payment Code by banning payment terms over 30 days, so that freelancers can be safe in knowing that they won’t have to max out credit cards or dip into their overdraft to get by.”

Late payments and the cost-of-living crisis
With the cost-of-living crisis worsening, the report also found that the failure to get businesses to pay self-employed workers on time is forcing many freelancers to make difficult decisions around their finances. One in five self-employed workers have reported that they found themselves with no money to cover basic living expenses such as rent and bills after an experience of late payment.

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Moreover, nearly a quarter have had to use their credit card or overdraft and a further one in five have used up all or most of their savings as a result of a client not paying them on time.

When analysing how long self-employed workers are waiting for payments from clients, the research found that nearly three in ten of self-employed workers have to wait between a month and three months beyond the agreed payment deadline for payment. Concerningly, nearly one in five freelancers reported that they had to wait over three months for a payment.

The impact of late payments on mental health
Late payments are also impacting on the mental health of self-employed workers. Almost half of freelancers (49 per cent) state that they have felt stressed or anxious as a result of not getting paid on time, whilst almost one in three indicated that they felt less productive due to an instance of late payment. The report found that a further three in ten have lost sleep over worry and that over a fifth have experienced a lack of confidence as a result of late payment.

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