Many small business clients dealing with large business customers have complained how difficult it can be dealing with and get payments from those big companies. I think most people would be sceptical that anything can be done to fix this.

The Government is considering the introduction of a voluntary prompt payment protocol to tackle delays in trade payments between businesses, particularly late payments to small businesses. It says delays in payments are typically passed down the supply chain and are often borne by small businesses, which may in turn withhold payments to their staff, suppliers, financiers or the ATO. To facilitate consultation, the Government has issued a discussion paper which sets out the key design features of the Protocol which it says will help “encourage a necessary shift in Australia’s late payment culture”.

Closing date for feedback: 23 August 2013