Small Business Commissioner - looking for survey volunteers

IPSE’s work to tackle late payment has taken a big step forward in the last year. Government has taken up IPSE’s call for a Small Business Commissioner, to help change the sometimes damaging culture that exists in the relationship between small and larger businesses. The first Commissioner will be announced next year, but in the meantime government wants your input to ensure the Commissioner functions to support the self-employed as much as possible.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) has asked us to help identify independent professionals to complete their survey.  BEIS is looking for independent professionals to interview about late payment, disputes & similar issues.

The interviews will surround two new websites BEIS is building for businesses. One of the websites will be about the new Small Business Commissioner, which will give advice and assist small businesses in disputes with larger businesses. The other website will support the new “Payment Practices Duty to Report” programme - where large businesses will have to publish information about their payment practices on a six monthly basis. The interviews will be by phone, video calls or in person - whatever suits you best.

IPSE hopes your contribution will help BEIS design the Commissioner role so it works effectively for the self-employed. Our research shows 71% of disputes between the self-employed and their clients were around late payment, with only 38% who were in dispute with their agency satisfied with the way it was resolved. In such circumstances, microbusinesses often do not resort to court action, either because of expense or the perceived reputational damage.

The Commissioner therefore has a crucial role to play. It will provide advice on your rights, facilitate conciliation and mediation services to preserve business relationships, while ensuring the balance of power is fair – “naming and shaming” the worst offenders in an annual report.

If you want to have your say on the development of the Small Business Commissioner policy, apply here.

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