The top 35 worst offending businesses for late payments

overdue invoices

New research has uncovered the top 35 worst offending businesses for late payments which include several household names.

Since April 2017, all large companies with a £36 million annual turnover have an obligation to report to the government about their payment practices, which can be accessed by anyone online. 

Yet, worryingly, a high proportion of these businesses routinely pay suppliers late even with so much cash in the bank.

Measly 5% Of Businesses Pay Invoices On Time

Only 316 out of the 6,613 businesses in the latest Government report, published in September 2018, pay all their invoices within 30 days. A huge 1,385 of the businesses in this list pay more than half of invoices days late. 

There’s more where that came from as Business Expert have listed the UK’s top businesses that are paying late in 2018.

Some of the worst offenders:

WT Film Productions – The film company behind Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Theory of Everything – Average time to pay invoices is a massive 287 days with 100% being paid late.

E.ON Climate & Renewables UK Humber Wind Limited – One of the ‘Big Six’ energy supplies in the UK – This renewable division pays 63% of invoices late. On average the energy client takes 118 days to make a payment.

Universal Pictures Group (UK) Limited – The iconic Universal Pictures has many high-grossing films under their belt. – 68% of their invoices are paid late. On average they take a monstrous 93 days to make payments.

Carlsberg Supply Company UK Limited – If Carlsberg did invoices they would…definitely not be the best in the world. – The Copenhagen beer company takes an average 92 days to pay invoices with 67% of invoices paid late.

Thomas Cook Group PLC – The British travel company that gained its fair share of controversary of late – 80% of Thomas Cook’s bills are not paid on time, spending a massive 88 days to pay on average.

Coca-Cola European Partners PLC – The favoured drinks company – Coca-Cola usually take 80 days to pay an invoice. More than half of their invoices are not paid on time.

Real-Life Impact

It’s all too easy to look at the report and think “these large businesses don’t affect me.” But this late culture is a problem for the whole of the UK. It’s estimated if SME’s were paid on time, the economy could be boosted by £2.5 billion. Business Expert talked to the people this financially frugal epidemic is impacting to reveal the reality of the issue. It uncovered businesses unable to operate, individuals struggling to keep a roof over their heads and even those whose children were impacted.

“Owed over £1k…only got £450 in the bank”

Rae Radford, Social Media Consultant, who has featured on Good Morning Britain and This Morning is owed over “£1K and with the mortgage payment due on the 1st I’ve only got £450 in the bank towards the direct debit.” “I’ve asked and asked and asked but they always say the same thing! You just end up going around and around in circles.” Radford added.

“I have 4 young children who are going without things they need”

Self-published children’s author, Ellie Jackson, has sold over 7000 books in a year and has over 150 stockists in the U.K. Yet, she has had to take out a loan to pay for more books because “I currently have thousands of pounds of outstanding invoices and this is having a huge impact on my ability to reinvest in my business.” Frighteningly, Jackson has “4 young children who are going without things they need.”

“I’ve borrowed money from my husband or asked him to pay bills”

Jenny Pace a freelancer is all too familiar with late payments. She feels delayed invoices have worsened over the yearswhen she first started her business in 2014 she rarely experienced them. But, now in the last six months,“late payments have meant that I’ve borrowed money from my   husband or asked him to pay bills while I wait for clients to settle up.” 

Thus, this then continues the cycle she added, as the knock-on effect means she’s a late payer too. 

99% of businesses in the UK are SME’s and all of these are at risk from invoice late payment. As a freelancer or SME owner, it’s never been more important to ensure proper invoicing to keep you in the black. With this in mind, we’ve outlined tips on getting paid on time.  

Charging Interest And Debt Recovery

New government legislation means you can charge an 8% interest plus the Bank of England baserate onlate invoices. You can also claim debt recovery from the business for the cost of a late payment.

The total you’re allowed to charge depends on the sum of debt. 

Suppliers can also claim for costs each time you try to recover the debt.