But latest returns from submissions to the Government’s Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance indicate there could be early signs that rampant cost inflation is starting to have an impact on speed of payments from main contractors as a whole.
The top 43 main contractors are taking on average nearly 32 days to pay, just over a day slower than a year ago. Also the average % of invoices not paid within terms rose from 16% a year ago to 21%.
Build UK, which has been benchmarking construction payment performance using the official returns since 2018, saw its members do a little better taking on average 30 days to pay invoices.
Over the last five years, tier one contractor Build UK members have reduced their average payment time from 45 to 30 days and now pay 94% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% five years ago.
Dr David Hancock, construction director at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said: “Despite the challenging business environment of the last few years, Build UK’s contractor members have delivered a significant result in reducing payment terms to an average of 30 days, which is a huge step towards the Government’s target to pay all suppliers within 30 days and clearly shows the effectiveness of transparent payment reporting.”
Jo Fautley, deputy chief executive of Build UK, said: “This is a great result for construction and proof that the sector is changing the way it does business.
“There is still room for improvement, but we’ve seen consistent progress by our tier one contractor members year on year since Build UK began benchmarking payment performance, and hitting the 30-day threshold is hugely significant, particularly for the supply chain where cash flow is more critical than ever. We hope that the culture of prompt payment continues to spread throughout the sector.”