With the UK experiencing a skilled trades shortage, more people are choosing to go into professions such as plumbing. Becoming a plumber can serve as a profitable career path, but it is not without its challenges. Commercial Domestic Investigations discuss new research that has shown that some British plumbers struggle with late payments.

Profitable trade

The UK is facing its biggest skills shortage in a generation. There is a serious lack of workers in skilled trades such as building, engineering and plumbing. A report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills indicates that a quarter of British jobs now go unfilled due to this skills shortage. In other words, there is high demand for experienced plumbers in the UK right now.

Significant problem

However, plumbers need their clients to settle invoices on-time in order to succeed, so they have the stable cash flow required to support operations. But a new survey from EC Insurance Company (ECIC), shows that during the first quarter of 2016, late payments were an issue for 62% of British plumbers.

In contrast, just 41% of those who operate in the UK construction sector saw late payments as an issue during the first three months of this year. ECIC also found that delayed payments was such a serious problem for around 20% of UK plumbers that they struggled to pay for supplies. Nearly a quarter of plumbers admitted that they have to devote funds specifically to recovering unpaid invoices.

Knock-on effect

Speaking out, ECIC Business Development Executive John Flaherty said: “It’s shocking that despite government promises of support, late payment is still such an issue for the nation’s hard-working plumbers. This can have a serious knock-on effect for their business, delaying projects and damaging customer relationships.

“The good news is that where they can, plumbers are being selective about who they will work with, based on the customer’s previous payment performance. By taking a firm stand in this way, it sends a clear message that late payment won’t be tolerated.” Flaherty added that the introduction of the Enterprise Act in May 2016, could bring changes to the speed of insurance claims payments.

Explaining, he noted: “As part of the Enterprise Act introduced in May, unnecessary delays in claims payments should be a thing of the past, giving plumbers some much needed certainty when they need to make a claim. It always helps to work with an insurer or broker who knows your business sector inside out and has a proven track record for claims. Biggest is not always best and we would urge contractors and tradespeople to seek evidence of claims service before placing cover.”

About Commercial Domestic Investigations

Commercial Domestic Investigations are regarded within the debt collection and credit control industry as one of the best credit management companies in the UK. Established in 1988 to support and service all sizes of companies in the field of Credit Management.

Commercial Domestic Investigations have recently featured in the press in The Guardian. To keep up to date with the latest debt collection news make sure to follow Commercial Domestic Investigations on twitterLinkedIn and Google+.

We now boast a national client base in excess of 30,000 companies. Commercial Domestic Investigations has grown by listening to clients’ requirements and adapting our services to meet all companies’ needs from Sole Traders, SMES, Ltd and Plus. Please contact us on 08444 159200 for more information.