Welcome clarification on “late payment tsar” process

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News that small businesses will be able to “backdate” complaints about late payments has been welcomed by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

The Government has approved the appointment of a new Small Business Commissioner, who will have specific responsibility for confronting the late payment practices which are endemic in certain sectors of UK commerce.

IPSE has welcomed news that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed that small firms facing difficulties will be able to take their problems directly to this individual.

It has also been made clear that they will be able to deal with complaints which pre-date the complaints system’s official start date of October 1st.

Simon McVicker, IPSE’s director of policy and external affairs, said: “The announcement ensures the Commissioner can aid as many small businesses as possible as well as giving them much needed momentum when it launches later this year.

“The civil service must have adequate resources to deal with the heavy initial workload and make the Small Business Commissioner an immediate success.

“The Commissioner must be firm with businesses which take liberties with payment terms and this has a severely detrimental effect on the self-employed workforce.”

Mr McVicker made clear that late payment – which is often linked to insolvency – has a “severely detrimental” effect on the nation’s self-employed workforce.

He has hopes that the Commissioner’s appointment will mean that large businesses will be held to account if they fail to pay invoices promptly.

The recruitment process for the role is already underway and the successful candidate is expected to start in their post in the autumn.