Screwfix and BT among 18 companies shamed for late payments
MORE than a dozen big name businesses have been suspended from the UK Government's Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay suppliers on time.
Screwfix, Prudential, British American Tobacco, BAE Systems, BT and British Gas owner, Centrica, were among 18 companies who were found to be taking longer than 60 days to make payments, according to the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM).
Those companies can no longer use government branding or say they are signatories of the code and must now work with the CICM to get reinstated.
The suspensions come after 17 businesses were removed or suspended in April, including Vodafone and engine maker Rolls Royce.
CICM chief executive Philip King, who administers the code on behalf of the government's Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department, said: "We will continue to challenge signatories to the code if the obligatory Payment Practice Reporting data suggests that their practices are not compliant.
"We are encouraged that of the 18 who have been suspended or removed today, all but one has already submitted action plans to achieve future compliance, and we are working closely with those businesses to support a better payment culture."
The one company which has not submitted a plan is AB World Foods, which is owned by Primark's parent company, Associated British Foods.
Small business minister Kelly Tolhurst added: "As a former small business owner I know how damaging late payments can be.
"Although the vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time, we recently announced ambitious new measures to level the playing field for small businesses as part of our modern industrial strategy."
One new rule due to start in September means any supplier who bids for a government contract above £5 million a year will be expected to answer questions about their payment practices and performance.
If they are unable to demonstrate that they are paying 95 per cent of invoices within 60 days, they may be excluded from the process.
Separately, Atos IT Services, which was removed from the code earlier this year, has been reinstated after administrators for the scheme were happy with changes the company made to its payments.
Full list of companies:
Severfield (Design & Build) Ltd
Stantec UK Limited
British American Tobacco (Holdings) Limited
Galliford Try PLC
Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited
BAE Systems Global Combat Systems Limited
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Limited
BAE Systems (Oman) Limited
Maintenance Management Limited
Fujitsu Services Limited
De La Rue Holdings plc
Domino UK Ltd
AB World Foods