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ROCCO AwARds - Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce

Business Matters Winter

Business Matters Winter 2010 7Show Me The Money!European Parliament ApprovesNew Late Payments RegimeTheEuropeanParliamentrecentlyapproveda proposalfor a newDirectiveregulatinglatepayment ofcommercialdebts.The Directive, which will replace theexisting Late Payments Directive of2000, calls for a “decisive shift to aculture of prompt payment” within theEU. It aims to give further protectionand confidence to creditors providinggoods and services - in particularSMEs, who are generally moreaffected by the liquidity problemscaused by late payment.The new Directive aims to reverse thetrend of late payment by making it lessattractive to debtors, and introducesspecific provisions on payment periods,fixed penalties and interest rates. Wherepayment hasn’t been received within therelevant payment period, the Directivewill ensure that the creditor is entitledto receive interest for late payment fromthe debtor, without the need of issuinga reminder. Late-paying debtors will alsobe required to pay fixed fees to cover thecreditor’s costs of recovery. While this willbe set at £40 minimum, it may ultimatelybe more, to cover all reasonable recoverycosts the creditor incurs.Contracting commercial undertakingswill be subject to maximum paymentperiods of 30 calendar days, unlessexpressly agreed in the contract - inwhich case, the maximum paymentperiod will be 60 days. The Directive doesprovide limited scope for variation. Boththe interest rate and the relevant paymentperiods may be extended. However,only where this is expressly agreed inthe contract, and isn’t grossly unfair tothe creditor - which will be determinedwith reference to, for example, whetherthe contractual term represents a grossdeviation from good commercial practice,contrary to good faith and fair dealing.Certain terms, such as the exclusion ofinterest, or compensation for recoverycosts, will be presumed to be grosslyunfair to the creditor.The Directive notesthat public authoritiesgenerally occupy astronger positionin commercialcontracts. Therefore,in transactions wherea public body is thedebtor, the paymentperiod can’t exceed30 days, unlessexpressly agreed inwriting and objectivelyjustified in light of thetransaction - in whichcase, the period canbe extended to amaximum of 60 days. Member States willalso have the option to provide a 60 daytimeframe as standard for public entitiesproviding healthcare, and public bodieswhich carry out economic activities of acommercial nature.The Directive will likely be adoptedover the coming weeks, with theCommission noting that Member Stateshave until early 2013 to implementits provisions. The Directive and theEuropean Parliament’s Amendments canbe accessed at:http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/single-market-goods/files/late_payments/doc/directive_en.pdfMacRoberts can advise on allcompliance and regulatory matters withinthe commercial sphere. For further info,please contact David Flint, Partner, atdavid.flint@macroberts.comAdams HouseAdams House is a residential service run by the Church ofScotland social care council.Adams House offers a specialized service to people living inthe area who have been diagnosed with dementia.The 26 single and 2 double rooms all have en suite facilitiesand they can all be furnished with personalized items. There areseveral lounges where residents can relax. The building also hasinternal and external landscaped gardens.Adams house’s aim is to help the residents take charge oftheir lives, as far as possible. This is done by person centeredcare planning, family and community involvement. There isalso a varied activity programme on offer. And all residents areallocated a key worker. Adams House also offer 2 respite carebeds, for short term care.Specialist DementiaCare ServiceFor further information on this service contactMr John McDaidAdams House136 Auchenlodment RoadElderslie PA5 9NXTel: 01505 337 322adamshouse@crossreach.org.uk

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