The report called for the government to ‘work with SMEs …to negotiate, for example, a Fair Treatment Charter’ in order to help SMEs avoid payment abuse.
The Fair Treatment Charter (FTC) was suggested by Ashmore to the all party inquiry, held in April and chaired by Debbie Abrahams MP. Whilst the inquiry was about late payment in all UK industries, it was considered that the construction industry suffers the worst.
The FTC has 12 simple points, all with the aim to level out the playing field for UK specialist contractors within the construction industry and prevent late payments and unfair treatment by large contractors.Ashmore put it forward as an effective solution to the issue that could be implemented almost immediately at virtually no cost to the UK government. An attractive feature in these economically challenging times.
The report detailed further findings and recommendations, including the mandatory publishing of payment times and performance data for the supply chain to access, and making fair payment a contractual requirement on all government jobs.
Abrahams said on the continuation of late payment issues, ‘Until top CEOs, and their executive board members, make a decision to act ethically in business, and treat our small and medium sized businesses fairly, this problem will persist.
Ashmore welcomed the publication of the report saying that ‘allowing a culture of late payment and brutal financial treatment to persist unchallenged is just plain wrong, and I am pleased that this report has given the StreetwiseSubbie Fair Treatment Charter formal recognition.’