Serviceteam Ltd. (a London heating & plumbing company) also feel the pain of late payment. Therefore, and with your help, we can petition the UK Government to enforce the laws on late payment to get paid on TIME!

THE PROBLEM: Your tradespeople have completed the works, the invoice sent, and payment is expected at 30 days (as agreed). However, the 30 days have come and gone, without any sign of payment! Sound familiar?

If you are self-employed/run an SME working for larger corporate clients UK wide, or like Serviceteam working with estate agent’s property management companies, we have all felt the pain of late payment!

As a supplier, you have pulled out all the stops, dropped everything to service a client’s emergency i.e., a Plumbing, Appliance Repair, or Electrical Fault, and attended at unsociable hours and in all weathers! You have provided the service and fixed the problem. You and your team have saved the day!

You have presented your invoice to the client for payment. You are confident that every pedantic payment hoop has been jumped through (more than once) to guarantee payment for the work/s completed. Your payments received forecast is complete, your payment outgoings planned for the month end, salaries, rent, suppliers etc. However, the payment date has come and is now long gone! You wait 60 – 90 – 120 days to be paid! In the meantime, your VAT bill has just arrived! HMRC states the amount you will be fined if payment is late, but you haven’t received payment on several invoices to pay the VAT (if only we had the same clout as HMRC)!

You’ve always been polite when requesting payment, in fear of damaging a long-term relationship but to no avail. You try again, this time more forcibly. The client leans on the business relationship, and remind you of the amount of business they supply you with, making you feel guilty! They refer you to their newly drafted T & Cs you haven’t seen or signed up to! You repeatedly call the client requesting payment to be told, “I said we’ll pay you at the end of the week so stop calling me every month!” (or words to that effect).

Sole Traders and SME businesses face late invoice payment every month, and most lack the resources to pursue payment. Companies know this and take advantage! (Companies will retain as much working capital as possible – by withholding payment from its suppliers long past the payment deadline). By doing so they are accessing credit on the cheap! It’s good for them but bad for us! It is crippling our cashflow and business potential.

We are told by our politicians that SME, Sole Traders etc. are the ‘backbone’ of the UK, who pay vast amounts in taxes and work hard, but when push comes to shove the Government is moving too slow. As it dithers, businesses become bankrupt or are liquidated. The legal system is also woefully short at dealing with it.

I write to you as an SME supplier, within the gas and heating industry, urgently in need of your support to make change happen! The dilemma faced is not solely within the gas and heating business, it affects every supplier regardless of the service or product provided. What shape could your business be in if you were paid on time, every time, within payment terms? If you are an employee your livelihood could be determined by your company’s cash flow – no cash flow no job! So, it’s in your interests to sign this petition as well to help secure everyone’s future!

It is only with your help and your help alone that we can bring this to Parliaments attention and create the action we badly need!

Our aim is to generate as much momentum as possible and petition The Secretary of State for Business and Energy (Alok Sharma) to make him aware of the hardship, anxiety, and pain we all feel due to late payment. The EU is ahead of the game in this respect, but our government is dragging its feet!

Serviceteam on behalf of all SME and businesses are calling for:  

  • A cap on payment deadlines – an end to extended payment deadlines with bills paid within 30 days extended to a maximum of 60 days only if contractually agreed.
  • An obligation to pay interest @ 8% above the base on every overdue invoice.
  • To increase and enforce the statutory late payment fees, administration and recovery costs with every single overdue invoice when chasing late payment/s.
  • A simple enforcement mechanism (tool) aimed at helping suppliers when claiming from late payers.

As a supplier, do not accept 60 or 90 days payment terms from your clients. Stand firm and fight your corner! Most businesses we all trade with have a Corporate Responsibility to their suppliers. Many boast this but do not fully implement it, which impacts greatly on the economy and business when payments are late!

Late payment of invoices threatens your business survival, preventing growth and job opportunities. The Federation of Small Businesses suggests it could add £2.5 billion to the UK economy, and keep an extra 50,000 businesses open each year! We need to lobby parliament to speed up discussions and push through a bill, that enforces invoice payment within your agreed business terms. We need it even more so during these difficult times, as we fight to save jobs and our businesses! Many large businesses use late payments and extended payment terms to exert control over small businesses in their supply chain. If allowed to continue will squeeze the life blood (cash flow) out of all our businesses! If it continues things will only get worse until some businesses are no more!

If you are feeling the pain of late payment – you can do something about it NOW by signing this petition! During the time taken to read this several businesses will have gone under; your business could be next! Do not let it happen! Sign this petition to force the Government to introduce a fair terms of payment policy, so SME’s are able to survive!

To get Parliament to take notice and take this petition seriously to introduce effective legislation, we need 100,000 signatures. Please get everyone in your company and known business associates to sign it!

Don’t let your business become a casualty of late payment!

DO IT NOW! For a secure future!

Many thanks for taking the time to read this important petition.

 

Click this link to sign the petition:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/574847/sponsors/new?token=Sn5Tk0jWYw8ETs7gK7HQ