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The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) has revealed that 18 businesses, including BT and Centrica, have been suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay businesses on time.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) have responded to this news, warning that it shows late payment is ‘endemic’ in British industry.

Andy Chamberlin, Deputy Director of Policy at the IPSE, commented, “The names on this list, added to the ones released earlier this year, show how endemic late payment is across British industry. It simply isn’t good enough. The self-employed are uniquely vulnerable to late payment, if they aren’t paid on time they have no income.

“Freelancers regularly tell me about the real damage this causes to their businesses and lives, with 20 days on average wasted a year chasing, leading to missed rent payments and even bankruptcy. The government must keep its promises and quickly push ahead with its proposed action to end late payment.”

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Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal, said, “Large companies who are not currently meeting the Code Standards need to note their unethical payment practices will not be tolerated. The suspension of those who are failing to meet their obligations demonstrates Government is committed to ensure small businesses are treated fairly.”

Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, added, “As a former small business owner I know how damaging late payments can be. Although the vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time, we recently announced ambitious new measures to level the playing field for small businesses as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. These include plans to hold company boards accountable for payment practices and proposed new powers for the Small Business Commissioner to tackle late payments through fines and binding payment plans.”

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