New research reveals that freelancers & micro-businesses in Peterborough are latest to be paid for their hard work in the UK.
Less than a third (32%) of invoices sent by Peterborough micro-businesses last year were paid on time.
Across the whole of the UK, just over half (52%) of invoices sent by micro-businesses were paid on time.
The research from cloud accounting software company FreeAgent- has revealed that a staggering 68% of invoices sent in Peterborough are not paid on time.
The issue of late payment has become so prevalent that the UK government appointed a Small Business Commissioner in a bid to drive a cultural change in payment practices to ensure small businesses are treated fairly. Commissioner Paul Uppal has been allocated an annual budget of £1.4million to fulfil his remit. While it is a nationwide initiative, Uppal has identified the West Midlands as an area of priority.
Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “While late payments are an issue across the UK economy as a whole, our research reveals just how widespread it is within the freelance and micro-business community.”
“Around half of the invoices sent by micro-businesses in the UK get paid late, and there are certain areas where the issue is considerably even worse. Even in Manchester, where late payment is least prevalent, there are still many businesses who aren’t being paid on time. Some of these late payments go way beyond a week or two, with some taking months to settle invoices, or even not paying at all.”
“Micro-business owners don’t have the luxury of being able to absorb late payments into their accounts – they need to get paid promptly to keep their cash flow healthy. While the government recognises the late payment problem, the reality is that the Small Business Commissioner has limited power to actually punish companies who routinely pay their invoices late, aside from just naming and shaming them. Late payments put freelancers and micro-businesses at significant risk, and we need stricter measures in place to tackle late payment culture.”