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Government to force large firms to publish payment practices - UK

| International retailers

Large companies will be made to publish their payment practices, as part of a government drive to level the playing field for small business.

From April 2016, large companies will be required to publish their payment practices twice a year to make sure that small companies do not get caught out. Under the new rules, large companies will be required to disclose payment terms, average time taken to pay, the proportion of invoices paid beyond agreed terms, the proportion of invoices paid in 30 days or less, between 31-60 days, beyond 60 days, and any late payment interest owed and paid.

Large firms will have to publish the information to a central digital location such as an online portal, which will be made publically available by the Government.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: "We are determined to make Britain a place where late payment is unacceptable and 30-day terms are the norm - with a clear 60-day maximum.

“We've acted to ensure all public payments do that, right down the supply chain, and are bringing in new strict transparency rules.

“These new rules will make poor payment performance a boardroom reputational issue for companies and help change the culture once and for all."

The new reporting requirements also mean large companies will have to publically declare whether financial incentives are required to join or remain on supplier lists. The new payment portal will enable data to be collected on dispute resolution processes, e-invoicing, supply chain finance and preferred supplier lists.

Companies will also report on their membership of codes of practice such as the Government-backed Prompt Payment Code, which was recently strengthened to promote 30-day terms as standard, with a 60-day maximum limit. In the Budget last week, the Government announced that the scope of the Code will be extended to consider other poor payment practices.

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