Late payment: PRCA calls for clarity on Government's Enterprise Bill

The PRCA has welcomed the scope of the Government's new Enterprise Bill, but has also called for more clarity on how its provisions will be enforced.

Francis Ingham: "The Small Business Commissioner should have teeth"
Francis Ingham: "The Small Business Commissioner should have teeth"
The bill, which received its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday, provides for the creation of a Small Business Commissioner who will advise small businesses on late payments and mediate between small and large businesses.

Yesterday’s debate discussed the issue of late payments and the PRCA said it chimed with the PR industry’s concerns about the "debilitating consequences" of late payments and their effect on cash flow.

But Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, called on the Government to clarify what powers the commissioner would have to enforce prompt payment to small businesses.

He added: "The Government’s own impact assessment shows that the commissioner will be able to handle only 500 complaints from small businesses. The PRCA has consistently argued that independent officials such as the Small Business Commissioner should have teeth to properly address the issue of late payments."

The bill also contains provisions around apprenticeships, which Ingham said the PRCA welcomed, saying apprenticeships were "already changing visibly the face of our industry".
The bill, which has already passed through the Lords, will now move to Commons committee stage at a date yet to be announced.

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