Latest returns from submissions to the Government’s Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance indicate a slight improvement on past years.
But the controversial self-reporting data which is collated and published by trade body Build UK every six months has been challenged by subcontractors because it is based on the number of invoices paid rather than value.
This means that if many small sums are paid promptly, large payments could still be delayed without seriously impacting payment records.
The clock on payment release does not start from payment application but records payment times after being certified, and does not reflect disputes or payless notices.
Subcontractors argue this means the reporting leagues fail to reflect real payment practice in the industry.
The top 43 main contractors are taking on average nearly 31 days to pay, a day faster than a year ago.
Also the average % of invoices not paid within terms improved from 21% a year ago to 19%.
Jo Fautley, Deputy Chief Executive at Build UK, said: “Five years ago we began benchmarking contractor members on payment performance and the results speak for themselves – after achieving average payment terms of 30 days in January, they’ve reached another key milestone paying 95% of invoices in 60 days.”