Almost a third of large contractors pay faster than 30 days

On average, the top 32 contractors paid their subcontractors in 34 days, 11 days faster than when trade organization Build UK started collecting payment information in July 2018.

But around a third of that now pays faster than the government’s 30-day target – a new record.

The fastest payers according to official figures are: Vinci, Sir Robert McAlpine, Costain, Morgan Sindall, ISG, McLaren, Willmott Dixon, VolkerWessels and Robertson.

On average, leading contractors now pay 94% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% three years ago, and 79% of their invoices are paid on time, compared to 61% in 2018.

According to the government’s Prompt Payment Code, prime contractors must now pay small businesses within 30 days.

The tightening of the rules for smaller businesses last month means that signatories of the code will have to demonstrate that they have paid 95% of bills for companies with fewer than 50 employees in 30 days.

Contractors do not need to consider subcontractors who only rely on workers hired by the supply chain company.

For larger companies, customers or prime contractors still have to pay 95% of invoices within 60 days, while the public sector is limited to 30 days.

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