The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee questions the Small Business Commissioner (SBC), Paul Uppal, on the problem of late payments and ways to ensure fair practices for small suppliers.
The session is part of the inquiry into small businesses and productivity which is examining how the Government can help boost productivity as well as the issue of late payments and efforts to tackle the deliberate poor treatment of suppliers by major companies.
Mr Uppal is likely to be asked about the extent of the problem with late payments, whether the SBC has sufficient powers and the actions being taken during his time in the role.
What progress has been made?
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:
"The devastating problems for small firms posed by delayed payments by large suppliers were highlighted by the recent collapse of Carillion, which left unpaid debts running in to millions of pounds.
The office of Small Business Commissioner was set up last year to support small suppliers in resolving payment disputes and we're keen to find out what progress has been made so far in tackling the poor treatment of the millions of the small and medium sized businesses which act as the lifeblood of the UK economy."
Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2017 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).
As well as looking at the problem of late payments, the inquiry is also looking at ways to help improve productivity through access to management training and information on the latest best practices and financial support.
Wednesday 25 April, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
- Paul Uppal, Small Business Commissioner