Construction News

Sat December 07 2019

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Late-paying Kier suspended from Prompt Payment Code

4 Nov Kier, Seddon Construction and McNicholas Construction Services have been suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to honour a commitment to pay 95% of all supplier invoices within 60 days.

However, several construction companies have been reinstated after demonstrating improvement since their suspension earlier this year. The reinstated companies include Costain, Interserve, Alun Griffiths, Kellogg Brown & Root and Severfield (Design & Build) Ltd.

Kier’s suspension extends across four separate Kier companies: Kier Integrated Services Limited, Kier Infrastucture and Overseas Limited, Kier Construction Limited and Kier Highways Limited.

The Prompt Payment Code is administered by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on behalf of the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Signatories pledge to uphold its best practice for payment standards to end the culture of late payment.

The Prompt Payment Code’s compliance board, chaired by CICM chief executive Philip King, regularly reviews the status of organisations to ensure they are upholding their commitments. Businesses suspended from the Code are invited to produce an action plan that leads to a substantial improvement in payment performance and are reinstated to the code as soon as they demonstrate compliance.

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Mr King said: “We will continue to challenge signatories to the code if the obligatory payment practice reporting data suggests that their practices are not compliant. We are encouraged by those who have already submitted action plans to achieve future compliance, and we are working closely with those businesses to support a better payment culture.”

Small business minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “We want to make sure that the UK is the best place in the world to work and start a business. Tackling late payments will ensure we level the playing field for small businesses so they can grow and thrive. As a former small business owner, I know how damaging late payments can be on cashflow.

“The vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time and it’s encouraging to see some companies engaging with improved payment practices, allowing them to be reinstated on the code. However, more needs to be done, and today’s action shows we are not afraid to crack down on those who do not pay suppliers on time.”

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