© Rolls Royce (illustration purpose only) Business | May 02, 2019
A 'telling off' for Rolls-Royce?
Recent changes made to the assessment criteria for the UK Government’s Prompt Payment Code have resulted in its suspension from the Code – specifically, in respect of its failure to pay at least 95% of their supplier invoices within 60 days.
"This non-compliance assessment is disappointing as we are demonstrably committed to the fair and appropriate treatment of all our suppliers. We look forward to working with CICM and the Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board to assist them in gaining a clearer understanding of the way in which we differentiate between large suppliers and smaller suppliers, who we believe merit additional assistance", a statement reads. With over 500'000 payments to suppliers every year, Rolls-Royce has adopt a "flexible approach which matches payment terms to the requirements and capabilities of our suppliers, [...] applying appropriate and jointly agreed payment terms to each". This approach, coupled with shorter payment terms for smaller suppliers, was apparently sufficient for Rolls-Royce to meet the criteria when they signed up to the Code in 2012, and were re-confirmed in 2016. "Nothing has fundamentally changed in our approach since then – as a group we pay around 90% of our invoices on time. We have long-term contracts with larger suppliers where payment terms have been mutually agreed at 75 days end of week. Previously we were able to balance these against the more preferential treatment we offer smaller suppliers, and remain compliant with the Code. Following a change in assessment approach, this is no longer the case. We continue to believe the way we have designed our payment terms is in keeping with the spirit of the Code. However, the significant volume of invoices we receive from our large suppliers – and the removal of the consideration of our preferential treatment for smaller suppliers – has pushed us below the compliance criteria as it is now being assessed", the press release continues.
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