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BIS launches consultation on late payment regulatory changes

In its infinite wisdom, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has finally decided to launch an open consultation on late payment regulation.

Filed under what can only be called the “we told you so” category, BIS has more or less tacitly admitted that late payments are a massive problem in field of self-employment. Freelancers, contract workers, sole traders, and a slew of other Brits are tired of slogging uphill in an attempt to get larger firms to actually pay their invoices in anything even remotely resembling a timely manner, and while cashflow issues can affect even the biggest of firms there’s an obvious bias towards large companies telling smaller ones to jog on. Finally the BIS has stood up and taken notice with the launch of this open consultation.

Acting in concert with the Scottish government, as Westminster was apparently too busy doing nothing to get involved, BIS is ready to get to work on how to change the regulatory landscape to discourage what it calls “grossly unfair” terms and conditions with an eye to changing the regulations that control them. This isn’t just a little problem, either – there’s something like nearly £27 billion owed to British SMEs. That’s a lot of dosh by anyone’s standards.

So far, the consultation is open for submissions and will remain so until around the end of November. It’s accessible on the BIS website, so please if you’ve got something to say about the issue get off your bum and fill out a response form. This isn’t going to work unless we can all band together as contractors and tell BIS how absolutely tired we are of being strung along by bigger, “more important” companies that make us sign 60 or 90 day payment agreements without offering the same flexibility in return.

I’m getting tired of hearing about freelancers and self-employed Brits being bullied and pushed around by these big firms that think we’re not important enough to warrant being treated fairly. I know you must be too, or you wouldn’t be reading this now would you? So let’s stop talking about how rubbish these big companies are and start doing something about it.  BIS can’t actually get anything done unless it gets every single one of us to inundate them with responses, so every email sent or every letter posted the better if you ask me.

Conversely, you can just keep whinging and going on about it whilst you wait oh-so patiently for that three-month-late cheque to show up in your post. Even money on whether you’ll get to celebrate a new royal coronation before you actually get paid.

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