Businesses warned to avoid delaying payments this Christmas

Businesses must plan in advance to avoid missing or delaying payments to staff and suppliers over the festive period.

Businesses must plan in advance to avoid missing or delaying payments to staff and suppliers over the Christmas and New Year holidays, according to Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs).

This year, Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday – a non-processing day – while both Christmas Day and Boxing Day are bank holidays. This year Tuesday 27 December is also a bank holiday, so the first post-Christmas working day when payments will be processed will be Wednesday 28 December.

So, if staff and suppliers are to be paid by Bacs Direct Credit, or payments are set to be collected by Direct Debit, on Wednesday 28 December, then the payment process must begin no later than Thursday 22 December. For payments due to credit / debit accounts on Thursday 29 December then payment files must be submitted no later than Friday 23 December.

It’s a similar situation over New Year, with New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday which means that Monday will be taken as the bank holiday – and again will be a non-processing day. This means that for payments due to be debited / credited on Tuesday 3 January the processing cycle must be started on Thursday 29 December at the latest.

Mike Hutchinson, from Bacs, comments, ‘During the busy festive season it’s easy for delaying payments, however, with a little careful pre-planning, there is no reason why salaries and suppliers cannot be paid on time even with the seasonal bank holidays.’

James Bennett, business service director, British Gas, says, ‘For small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, simple changes can make a big difference.

‘Researchers from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) analysed data from the Met Office and ONS, and found that periods of very cold weather hit GDP by an average of 0.6 per cent.

Bennet adds, ‘That may not sound hugely significant, but it means minimum temperatures just one degree Celsius lower than average will take an average £2.5 billion a quarter out of the economy.’

Further reading on Christmas sales for SMEs

Related Topics

Late Payment

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