Late Payment – Calls grow to ditch Rentokil

Trade secretary Stephen Byers will today be urged to back calls for the expulsion of Rentokil Initial from the government-sponsored Better Payment Practice Group over its controversial 60-day payment policy.

In a letter due to be sent to Byers today, the Forum of Private Business will insist Rentokil is removed as a signatory of the BPPG code which requires members to agree and stick to payment terms with a supplier.

Rentokil, whose chief executive Sir Clive Thompson is president of the CBI, had promised to re-issue a circular issued to suppliers in November enforcing 60-day payment terms. But the forum will tell Byers that Rentokil has not contacted suppliers and is breaking the spirit and letter of late-payment legislation.

November’s Late Payment Act allows companies to charge an extra 8% interest above base rate on overdue invoices after 30 days, if no payment agreement is reached.

The issue will come to a head at the next BPPG meeting on 22 March, when the forum will have to prove Rentokil is breaking the code.

David Harvey, ACCA’s representative on the BPPG, said: ‘We’re not going to make a position on hearsay. Both sides need to justify their position.’

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