“Other than working at his Dad?s business in the 1980s, it?s hard to see what experience Griffiths is going to bring to the table.”When Griffiths was appointed back in January, we asked a panel of small business decision makers what areas they wanted to see Margot James’ successor focus on as small business minister. The five areas put forward were: GDPR compliance for small companies, fix the bank referral scheme, startup tax concessions, the skills shortage and winning over Britain’s entrepreneurs.
Sam Rogers, director Rampant PR
“I?m going to bring you to London and do whatever I want to you.” Would you trust this man to fight for your interests in parliament?However, arguably Griffiths greatest focus was the legacy left by his predecessor ? the UK’s late payment problem. James introduced payment reporting rules for large companies and also established the office of the small business commissioner, a role largely dedicated to fighting late payments. __________________________________________________________________________________
Payments scandal: It?s not late payment, it?s unfair payment terms to start with Business Advice can reveal it is actually excessive payment terms that are causing the real problems. __________________________________________________________________________________ Despite continuing James’ reforms, late payments continued to plague micro business owners under Griffiths. New research from FreeAgent has today revealed that 47% of invoices paid to micro business owners and freelancers were paid later than agreed terms in 2017.
Separate research carried out by the accounting software provider also revealed that one in four UK micro company owners have had to wait three to six months to get paid by a client, while 10% have had a client who never paid them at all.Small business commissioner, Paul Uppal, was granted a ?1.4m annual budget to tackle late payments, but FreeAgent CEO Ed Molyneux believes government intervention has so far been ineffective.
“While the government recognises the late payment problem, the reality is that the small business commissioner has limited power to actually punish companies who routinely pay their invoices late, aside from just naming and shaming them,” he explained.
Griffiths, who recently became a father, set up the government’s Women to Win campaign to get more female MPs elected. He was also responsible for promoting the shared parental leave policy, but told BBC 5 Live listeners he would not be eligible to take advantage of the policy he had launched.
“Late payments put freelancers and micro businesses at significant risk, and we need stricter measures in place to tackle late payment culture.”
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