Twenty firms – including IBM and Unilever – have been suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay suppliers on time, the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) have announced.

Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline and Kier businesses are also among those that have failed to honour their Code commitment to pay 95% of all supplier invoices within 60 days. The Code is administered by the CICM, who are independent from government, on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Signatories pledge to uphold its best practice for payment standards to end the culture of late payment.

All of the businesses, however, are engaging with the CICM and have already submitted action plans towards achieving compliance, proving the effectiveness of the PPC in positively changing payment behaviours. A further 9 businesses – including Interserve Construction, Centrica and Kellogg Brown & Root – have been reinstated to the Code having demonstrated compliance for at least the last two consecutive months.

The 20 suspended companies are:

  • Aberdeen Asset Management PLC
  • Anglo American Services (UK) Limited
  • AstraZeneca
  • Diageo Scotland Limited
  • Diageo Global Supply IBC Limited
  • Diageo Northern Ireland Limited
  • Diageo Great Britain Limited
  • Eurovia Infrastructure Limited
  • GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (UK) Trading Limited
  • GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited
  • IBM United Kingdom Limited
  • Kier Integrated Services Limited
  • Kier Infrastucture and Overseas Limited
  • Kier Construction Limited
  • Kier Highways Limited
  • McNicholas Construction Services Limited
  • Seddon Construction Ltd
  • Smith & Nephew UK Limited
  • J. Smith and Nephew, Limited
  • Unilever UK Limited

Meanwhile, nine companies have been reinstated. The companies are:

  • Alun Griffiths
  • BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Limited
  • Centrica
  • Costain Limited
  • Kellogg Brown & Root Limited
  • Interserve Construction
  • Maintenance Management Ltd
  • Severfield (Design & Build) Limited
  • Stantec UK Limited

The Prompt Payment Code’s Compliance Board, chaired by CICM’s Chief Executive Philip King, regularly reviews the status of organisations to ensure they are upholding their commitments. Businesses suspended from the Code are invited to produce an action plan that leads to a substantial improvement in payment performance and are reinstated to the Code as soon as they demonstrate compliance.

Of the 35 signatories suspended in April and July, 11 have now been reinstated.

King 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 by those who have already submitted action plans to achieve future compliance, and we are working closely with those businesses to support a better payment culture.”

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said “We want to make sure that the UK is the best place in the world to work and start a business. Tackling late payments will ensure we level the playing field for small businesses so they can grow and thrive. As a former small business owner, I know how damaging late payments can be on cashflow.”

“The vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time and it’s encouraging to see some companies engaging with improved payment practices, allowing them to be reinstated on the Code. However, more needs to be done, and today’s action shows we are not afraid to crack down on those who do not pay suppliers on time.”