Sadly I'm not the only freelance writer who's had to wait (sometimes months) for a client to pay what they owe for work completed. So last year when I became aware of a petition that called for the government to pass a law to force employers to pay on time for freelance and contractual work I signed it. Today (07/01/17) I received a reply which I felt may be of interest to freelancers and contractors. So here it is:
"A party acting in the course of a business can claim interest and reasonable recovery costs if another business is late paying for goods or a service.
A party acting in the course of a business can claim interest and reasonable recovery costs if another business is late paying for goods or a service, under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
In April 2017, the payment practices reporting requirement will come into force. This will require large companies and LLPs to report publicly on their payment practices and performance, twice per financial year. This transparency will help suppliers, including small businesses such as sole traders, make informed decisions about who they do business with.
Also in 2017, we will be appointing the Small Business Commissioner, who will support small businesses in resolving payment disputes. The Commissioner will provide general advice and information, direct small businesses to existing dispute resolution services, and handle complaints about payment issues. Small businesses, with fewer than 50 staff, will be able to access the services of the Commissioner – these businesses include self-employed individuals.
There is also the voluntary, industry-led Prompt Payment Code, which is about encouraging, promoting and setting an example of best practice between organisations and their suppliers. More than 1800 firms are signed up to the Code, which you can see at: www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk"
Although this is a step forward it would be even better if we could get this debated in parliament and more could be done to support freelancers like myself and many of my friends. As I write this post the petition stands at just over 11,000. To get it debated we need 100,000 signatures by 8th May 2017. So if you're a freelancer or contractor and feel you can add your name then please click HERE to sign the petition.
My latest short story collection Coyote Tales Retold is available on Amazon in ebook format. Also available Meet The Tricksters a collection of 18 short stories featuring Anansi the Trickster Spider, Brer Rabbit and Coyote is available as a paper back and an ebook.
I run the following online courses for Women On Writing: