Nearly a third of major contractors paying faster than 30 days

Aaron Morby 3 years ago

The country’s main contractors improved average payment times by a day over the last six months dispelling fears of a slide into Covid-related payment delays.

On average the 32 leading contractors paid subcontractors within 34 days, 11 days quicker than when the trade body Build UK first started collating payment data in July 2018.

But around a third of those are now paying faster than the Government target of 30 days – a new record.

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

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

Main contractor payment performance – source Build UK
Firm Average days to
pay invoices
% of Invoices not
paid within terms
% of Invoices
paid within 60 days
Vinci 24 15 95
Sir Robert McAlpine 24 18 96
Costain 25 19 95
Morgan Sindall 27 9 98
ISG 28 13 98
McLaren Construction 28 38 96
Willmott Dixon 29 10 99
VolkerWessels 29 24 96
Robertson Construction 29 37 95
Osborne 30 23 93
Tilbury Douglas 30 39 95
Lendlease 31 7 97
Laing O’Rourke 31 19 93
Kier 31 28 90
Amey 31 38 93
BAM Construct 32 26 96
John Sisk & Son 32 26 93
Mace 32 29 90
Wates 35 21 95
Murphy 36 23 83
Winvic Construction 37 14 97
Bowmer and Kirkland 37 27 95
Galliford Try 38 10 95
Multiplex 38 20 88
Canary Wharf Contractors 38 21 89
Bouygues 38 22 93
Balfour Beatty 38 26 92
Skanska 41 10 89
Graham Construction 42 18 90
Engie 45 1 96
BAM Nuttall 46 24 90
Seddon 49 15 96

Under the Government’s Prompt Payment Code main contractors are now required to pay small businesses within 30 days.

The tightening of the rules for smaller firms last month, means signatories to the code will need to demonstrate they have paid 95% of invoices from businesses with fewer than 50 employees within 30 days.

Contractors do not have to take into account any labour-only subcontractors the supply chain firm engages.

For larger firms, clients or main contractors are still required to pay 95% of invoices within 60 days, with the public sector held to 30 days.

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