© Ian F Simpson 2012
The government will name and shame big construction companies that screw subcontractors and suppliers by failing to pay their bills on time.
Business minister Michael Fallon has written to all FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies telling them that if they do not sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, a voluntary agreement to promote good payment practices, he will publicise their refusal in the new year.
Companies being told to sign up include: major contractors Interserve, Galliford Try, Carillion and Kier; housebuilders Barratt, Berkeley, Bovis Homes, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey; support service companies Capita, Mitie and WS Atkins; and materials suppliers Wolseley, Howden Joinery, SIG and Travis Perkins.
The only FTSE 250 construction company to have signed up to the code already is Balfour Beatty, which did so in July 2010. Other major construction signatories include Willmott Dixon, Skanska UK, Morgan Lovell and Miller Construction.
Mr Fallon said: “Late payment causes real cash flow problems for entrepreneurs. It stops them from growing their business – we need to change the culture.
“Too many of our biggest companies are ignoring the Prompt Payment Code. My message to them is clear – make prompt payment a priority or face the consequences of being named. I’m confident that driving up support for the common sense principles in the Code will have a very positive effect.”
Currently 1,182 companies are signed up to the Prompt Payment Code. However, only 27 FTSE 100 companies and five FTSE 250 companies are signatories.
Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford welcomed the minister’s invention. He said: “All too often we see a ‘domino effect’ of late payment right down the supply chain. It decimates cash flow and forces many firms into administration – so it is important that we do whatever it takes to reverse this trend and set in motion a culture of prompt payment for small businesses and the economy as a whole.”
A debate on prompt payment issues took place in Parliament on Thursday 8 November 2012.
Businesses can sign up to the Prompt Payment Code now at http://www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk/
My question is, why should this be a challenge to any FTSE 250/100 company? This should be an enforced code of practice, what ever size of business you are.
Far too many SME’s and Micro Businesses are being effected in the media sector, and yes this includes studio hire facilities. Recently after a very long and protracted conversation on this very subject with a studio owner in London, I challenged him to tell me who has not agreed to pay for his services and create a growing culture of late payment this year, moving the goal posts of terms from 14, to 30, to 90 days and even paying for the whole service package he offers (this includes his own lighting hire service, catering, MUAs, Styling team and a driver for the creative team and celebrity being shot that day) to 30 days after the image went public – six months after the shoot date for those interested in when he got paid. To be honest I had heard this one earlier this year that created a wedge between a new client and obviously some one I no longer choose to do business with.
I understand that as quotes and budgets get progressively strangled, we still offer the best service in all the finer studio hire centres up and down the UK, however, if these agencies are allowed to carry on creating a delay on all payments for services rendered then what are we to do?
Personally, I would love it if there were a standard industry code of practice that anyone hiring any services in the photographic industry – all payments should be treated like a retail payment. There are 1000’s of articles that express the anger of many and use the same analogy that one would not enter a department store, pick up a pair of shoes, try them on, enjoy the view in those small angled mirrors for a while, wonder if they will go with those new jeans you bought the other week and then walk out of the store with a short conversation with the staff saying, “I will come back next month and pay for these, OK?”
The cold arm of the law and probably a night in a cell is the end of this story, so why do proportionately more and more companies out there see the service sector of studio hire a much softer side of the hard faced industry?
I have written to M. Fallon MP to forward any information on those 1182 businesses that have signed up to this code of practice, particularly ones that are outside of the construction game. I will publish this list to assist in those of you who wish to secure at least one client who has no problem paying on time and appreciates the fact that all studios are in a supply chain of paying their own 3rd party debts.
I am lucky that this has happened less and less this year in comparison to last, this is all down to the contract I have with my cherished clientele – however I know that this has alienated me and my studio from many cash opportunities, due to the arrogance of those who wished to extend the payment of a very expensive shoot.
Simple question to ask at the very top – do you have the budget in place to pay for this? In accepting this cost of my services, are you aware that you are legally obliged to pay on my terms, not yours?
For those interested, this is the construction sector list of those who agree to pay on time to their suppliers and contractors, these are the kind of people who should be encouraged as trend setters.
|3D Scaffolding Limited||North West|
|A-Tech Installations||West Midlands|
|Advanced Roofing Limited||East Midlands|
|Archive Repair Specialist||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Ardent Services Ltd|
|Arkoni Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Asbestos Business Contractors Ltd||North West|
|Aspect Building Solutions Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Association of Concrete Industrial Flooring Contractors (ACIFC)||London|
|Association of Interior Specialists||West Midlands|
|Atlas Washroom Systems Ltd||North East|
|B Mc Namee & Co Ltd||Northern Ireland|
|Badham & Sons||West Midlands|
|Balfour Beatty plc|
|Barrow & Brooks Ltd||South East|
|Bermar Building Company Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Besure Building & Maintenance Services ltd||South East|
|BHE Services (Bolton) Ltd||North West|
|Birmingham Glass Services Ltd||West Midlands|
|Black & Veatch||South East|
|Boilerman Ltd||South West|
|Bristan Group Limited||West Midlands|
|C D Potter and Sons Limited||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Cirrus Trading Ltd||East Midlands|
|Clarkes Environmental Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|D H Crofts Limited||South East|
|DCT Civil Engineering Ltd||North West|
|Dufell Roofing Co. Ltd.||North East|
|Dutton’s Electrical||East Midlands|
|Effective Builders Company||North West|
|EMCOR Facilities Services Limited||North West|
|ERH Communications Ltd||Wales|
|ERW Joinery Ltd||North East|
|F PARKINSON LTD||North East|
|Gary Gabriel Associates||South East|
|George Cox & Sons Ltd||North West|
|Goody Demolition Ltd||South East|
|Governor Electrical & Mechanical Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Greendealhull.com||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|H Clarke and Sons Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|H&J Martin Ltd||Northern Ireland|
|Hannafin Contractors Limited||West Midlands|
|Harry Fairclough Construction Ltd||North West|
|HCS (Yorkshire) Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Headway Contracting Services Ltd||North East|
|Huggins Limited||South East|
|Install Electrical Contractors Ltd||East Midlands|
|ITT WATER&WASTEWATER UK LTD||East Midlands|
|J Hughes Construction Limited||North East|
|K & M Mcloughlin Decorating Ltd||London|
|Keith Walton Brickwork Limited|
|L P MASON LIMITED||West Midlands|
|Lewis and Lewis Ltd||Wales|
|Lincs Joinery Services Ltd||East Midlands|
|LJPM Ltd||South East|
|MacLay Civil Engineering Ltd||Scotland|
|Main Building Maintenance Ltd||South East|
|McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd||Northern Ireland|
|MCP Environmental LLP||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|MIDLAND FIRE PROTECTION LTD||East Midlands|
|Minshull Windows Ltd||Wales|
|Moss Construction (NI) Ltd||Northern Ireland|
|Mott MacDonald Limited||London|
|Multispace Systems Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|MURRAY & WILLIS LTD||West Midlands|
|Mwt Civil Engineering Ltd||Wales|
|Oddy Builders Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Olivison Ltd||South West|
|One Stop Maintenance OSM Ltd||West Midlands|
|PAW Structures Ltd||North West|
|Paynters Flooring||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|PGR Innovations Limited||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Professional Electrical Solutions Limited||South West|
|Providence Maintenance & Electrical Services Ltd||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Pyramid Builders Limited||London|
|RDA Limited||North East|
|Reddish Vale Insulations Ltd||North West|
|RESIBLOCK LIMITED||South East|
|RI Construction||North East|
|Rok Plc||South East|
|roofclad profiles ltd||Northern Ireland|
|Roy Hankinson Limited||North West|
|Rule & Parker Ltd||East of England|
|S. Peake & Son Ltd||West Midlands|
|sanmet||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|sedgemoor heating||South West|
|Skanska Construction UK||South West|
|SM ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES LTD||Scotland|
|SOFT SURFACES LIMITED||North West|
|T&B (Contractors) Limited||South East|
|TECHRETE (UK) LIMITED||East Midlands|
|Thompsons Fencing Ltd||North East|
|Universal Carpentry & Joinery Ltd||East of England|
|V&T(Plumbing Central Heating & Bathrooms) Ltd t/a Aqua Interiors||Yorkshire & The Humber|
|Wayman Fabrications Ltd||North West|
|Wellington UK Ltd||South East|
|Wharton Construction||North East|
|William Doherty||Northern Ireland|
|Willmott Dixon Holdings Limited|
|WJM BUILDING SERVICES LIMITED||Northern Ireland|
|Woodhouse-Barry (Construction)Limited||North East|
(source – the construction index Nov. 2012)