Latest figures published by construction association, Build UK, show that its members have made a slight improvement in payment performance within the past six months.
However, in its latest pay performance construction payment leagues, it indicates that no build UK major contractor members are reported as paying their bills within 30 days. The average time taken to pay bills fell from 45 days to 43 days from 45 when the first round of statistics were published.
While no “contractors” paid in 30 days, Four UK Build “clients” – British Land (14) , Landsec (19) , Heathrow (21) and Berkeley Homes(28)– top the payment table all settling bills before an average of 30 days.
Using data submitted under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance, which requires all large companies to report on their payment practices every six months, Build UK has benchmarked its members on the average time they take to pay invoices and the percentage of their invoices paid beyond terms. Across Build UK members, the average time taken to pay has fallen from 45 to 43 days and the average percentage paid beyond terms has reduced from 30% to 26%.
There was widespread recognition of the need to improve payment practices when Build UK published the first set of results last July and the increased transparency has started to change the industry culture and drive improved practices. Build UK members have focussed on developing their systems, implementing clear policies and training their staff in order to improve their performance and support their supply chains.
With company reports needing to be approved by a named director, the Duty to Report has ensured that the issue of payment is now firmly under the spotlight at a senior level.
Mark Castle, Chairman of Build UK and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Mace, said “These improvements demonstrate the importance of increased transparency on the issue of payment. Build UK has held a mirror up to its members who have responded by taking significant steps to review and address performance within their organisations. There is still a lot of work to be done – for example, encouraging further transparency around disputed payments – but these results are a clear move in the right direction and show that the industry is serious about tackling this long-standing issue.”
Build UK Members include main contractors, trade associations representing over 11,500 Specialist Contractors and other organisations committed to industry collaboration, representing in excess of 40% of UK construction.