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Specialist contractors welcome EU fair payment legislation

March 12th, 2013

The National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC) has welcomed the introduction of a new EU directive that will see the principles of fair payment set out in the NSCC Fair Payment Campaign extended throughout Europe.

The National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC) has welcomed the introduction of a new EU directive that will see the principles of fair payment set out in the NSCC Fair Payment Campaign extended throughout Europe.

The government has recently responded to a consultation it undertook last year on implementing legislation to tackle late payment by businesses and public authorities across all EU member states. It has confirmed that the directive will be implemented into UK law on 16 March 2013, with contracts concluded before this date excluded from the amended provisions to avoid businesses having to make amendments to existing contracts.

The position taken by UK government reflects the response submitted by NSCC in support of the main proposals including maintaining 30-day payment terms for public sector projects as opposed to stretching them to 60 days. Having recognised current UK practice as an exemplar, the directive effectively mirrors existing UK provisions to extend it across the EU. The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act will be amended to transpose the requirements of the directive although the current three-tier charge for recovering debts will be retained.

NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol said: “We are delighted that the government has supported the new directive which marks another significant step towards realising the principles of the Fair Payment Campaign. The UK government is leading the way on fair payment and the new legislation will help SMEs in the construction industry to get paid on time across the EU, which will have a positive impact on the economy.”

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