ATA puts payment case forward to Senate committee


Association advocates for enforceable 30-day maximum

ATA puts payment case forward to Senate committee
Bill McKinley advising on the Payment Times Reporting Bill 2020

 

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has offers its views to the Senate committee considering legislation requiring large businesses to report on their payment times.

ATA chief of staff Bill McKinley tells the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee the federal government should ban payment times longer than 30 days, provide creditors with the immediate right to claim interest and recovery costs, and impose penalties for serious non-compliance.

The ATA’s position is to support the payment times reporting bills with amendments to: 

  • require large businesses to provide disaggregated information based on the business industry codes of their small business suppliers
  • enable the regulator to decide not to publish information that would cause competitive detriment to a small business
  • provide that reports be made once a year rather than every six months. 

"Trucking is an industry of small and family businesses. More than 98 per cent of trucking operators are owner drivers or small businesses with 19 or fewer employees," McKinley says.

"The industry works on tight margins and operators incur most of their costs before they can bill their customers.

"Extended payment times are a significant issue for all trucking businesses, large and small.

"We agree with the small business ombudsman’s finding that public reporting and monitoring will not compel the worst offenders to adopt shorter payment times or improve their payment practices."


How the payment legislation was introduced to federal Parliament, here


Australia needs to have legislated payment times, which could be based on the European Union’s 2011 late payment directive, ATA adds.

"The Australian version of the EU approach should ban payment times longer than the Australian 30-day standard unless a longer payment time is agreed in writing and is not grossly unfair to the creditor, provide creditors with the immediate right to claim interest and recovery costs, and impose penalties for serious non-compliance," McKinley adds.

The ATA also proposes collecting a richer dataset once a year rather than a smaller amount of information twice a year.

The ATA submission is available here.

 

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