The operator is the only telco out of 17 companies to have been removed or suspended
Vodafone is one of 12 companies to have been suspended from the Prompt Payment Code, administered by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on behalf of the Government, in an attempt to crack down on late payments to smaller businesses.
Signing up to the Code includes a pledge to pay 95 per cent of supplier invoices within 60 days. Vodafone is the only telecoms provider on the list of 17 companies to have been suspended or removed from the Code in the past quarter. It has promised to improve its paying times.
Businesses suspended from the Code are invited to produce an action plan setting out how they will achieve compliance with the Code within an agreed period. When they have achieved compliance their status as a Code signatory will be reinstated. If they do not, then they will be removed.
CICM chief executive Philip King said: “The Board is disappointed with the actions of a minority who continue to treat their suppliers unfairly, and has no satisfaction in having to name them publicly.”
Minister for small business Kelly Tolhurst said: “The Prompt Payment Code is a positive force for good and by naming transgressors we are supporting small businesses in the supply chain.
“We remain committed to supporting small businesses against poor payment practice and are delighted to see that the Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board has acted to expose those whose payment practices fall outside of their obligations to treat suppliers fairly.”
A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Our policy is to pay all small suppliers, and subcontractors to our public sector customers, within 30 days. We are proactively moving suppliers who we identify as small to these 30-day terms. We also already offer financing for small suppliers with cash flow concerns, provide an online help service and an automated system to speed up payments.
“As a UK-based multi-national company, we do have some longer payment terms with very large organisations, for example, delivering complex IT and network projects over a number of years. We are explaining our numbers to Government and the appropriate bodies whilst continuing to make improvements.”