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It was then announced, in March 2015, that big companies would be made to publish their payment practices twice a year, by April 2016.

However, as we reported in April, the then Small Business Minister Anna Soubry said that rules which will legally require all large companies in the UK to report on their payment practices and policies, had been put off for 6 months and were now due in October, to allow the government more time to get their IT systems up and running.

Guess what? They are still not in place!

It has now been reported that Ministers have launched a consultation on the long-awaited plans for a small business commissioner to tackle late payments after failing to implement reporting requirements for big firms on time.

The Department for Business said the latest consultation will look at ‘how the small business commissioner will operate and handle complaints, and is open to responses from businesses of all sizes’.

The role was announced in July last year, but no appointment has been made, despite one being expected this summer.

The department said it expects to appoint a commissioner ‘in 2017’.

Despite endless government promises to crack down on late payment, the existing Prompt Payment Code and legislation are inadequate and  looks as if many small businesses will spend the rest of the year and well into 2017 chasing payments from big businesses.

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