Specialist contractors welcome EU fair payment legislation

The National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC) has welcomed the introduction of a brand new EU directive which may see the foundations of fair payment set out within the NSCC Fair Payment Campaign extended throughout Europe.

The government has recently responded to a consultation it undertook last year on implementing legislation to tackle late payment by businesses and public authorities across all EU member states. It has confirmed that the directive can be implemented into UK law on 16 March 2013, with contracts concluded before this date excluded from the amended provisions to circumvent businesses having to make amendments to existing contracts.

The position taken by UK government reflects the response submitted by NSCC in support of the key proposals including maintaining 30-day payment terms for public sector projects instead of stretching them to 60 days. Having recognised current UK practice as an exemplar, the directive effectively mirrors existing UK provisions to increase it around the EU. The Late Payment of business Debts Act might be amended to transpose the necessities of the directive although the present three-tier charge for recovering debts can be retained.

NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol said: “We are delighted that the govt has supported the recent directive which marks another significant step towards realising the foundations of the Fair Payment Campaign. The united kingdom government is leading the best way on fair payment and the hot legislation may help SMEs within the construction industry to receives a commission on time around the EU, with the intention to have a favorable impact at the economy.”