Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Contractor Umbrella News: Liz Barclay named as new Small Business Commissioner

Liz Barclay, an experienced business advocate and former journalist, has been named as the first female Small Business Commissioner with the task of tackling late payments.

With SMEs accounting for two-thirds of UK private sector employment and more than half of business turnover, late payments can really damage their income, which can lead to job losses and business closures.

Recent research from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has shown that 36% of self-employed workers have been affected by an increase in late payments during the pandemic.

The IPSE has said that it is looking forward to working with the new Small Business Commissioner in order to address such challenges for the sector.

Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, said:

“We wholeheartedly welcome the new Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay and look forward to working with her to clamp down on late payment.

“Late payment is a challenge for freelancers at the best of times, but during the pandemic it can be a crippling problem. In fact, our research shows that over a third of freelancers have seen an increase in late payment during the pandemic, adding dramatically to their financial woes – especially those who have missed out on government support.

“Liz has been a good friend to us and a great ally of the self-employed for many years, and we know she will work with us to tackle this challenge and ensure all self-employed people promptly receive the payment they deserve and need.”

On becoming the new Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay said, “We need a real culture change around business payments in the UK to take pressure off our phenomenal entrepreneurs. People who have already delivered goods and services have to be able to turn their attention to their next client and next order rather than chasing up late payments and worrying about their cashflow. I know from personal experience how damaging that can be to mental and emotional health.

“By working with businesses and ensuring their concerns are listened to I hope to be able to deliver a payment regime that keeps cash flowing and works for everyone.”

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