SMEs get new commissioner to tackle late payments
Proposals for a new Small Business Commissioner to lead a culture change in how small businesses resolve disputes with larger companies have been set out by the Government.
The new Commissioner will help SMEs handle disputes over late payment and other supply chain practices, offering advice, support, mediation and conciliation services to smaller firms. He or she will also be able to use data collected along the way to name and shame those behaving badly and celebrate those paying promptly.
Small Business Minister, Anna Soubry, explains: “The Small Business Commissioner will tackle the imbalance of bargaining power between small suppliers and large customers, and encourage them to get round the table and sort out disputes at a fraction of the cost of going to court. It will also provide advice, investigate complaints and see where further action is needed to clamp down on unfair practices.”
Official figures show that in July 2015, SMEs were owed a total of £26.8 billion in overdue payments and that £10.8 billion is spent per year in attempts to recover overdue payments.