By Anthony Capkun
March 14, 2018 – A group of construction trade organizations in British Columbia—including the Electrical Contractors Association of BC—have united under the banner “Prompt Payment B.C.” to convince government to find a solution to payment delays in the construction sector.
“We’ve consistently heard from our members that unnecessary delays in receiving payment are a significant concern for their business,” said Deborah Cahill, president of ECABC. “That’s why we’re collaborating with other building trades to work with the provincial government to ensure that contractors are adequately protected and can continue to make investments in our people and equipment.”
“Following successful efforts in other provinces and federally, PPBC is lobbying hard and promoting grassroots efforts that will make politicians understand the situation, pay attention and put a plan in place to solve the problem,” writes the coalition on its website.
“Between 2007 and 2012, the average duration of a receivable in Canada’s construction industry increased from 62.8 days to 71.1 days—an increase of over 13%. The impact of payment delay on small- and medium-sized enterprises can be disproportionately severe, and even a minor delay in payment of one or two invoices can put smaller businesses under severe financial stress,” writes PPBC.
“Trade contractors are especially hard hit by payment delays. They are expected to continue paying staff, funding benefit plans and other payroll obligations, purchase supplies and continue work in progress—even when revenue is delayed by days, weeks or even months,” says PPBC. “The risk of late payment, which has increased significantly in recent years, makes it harder for contractors to make competitive bids, hire staff, invest in new capital equipment and hire apprentices,” says the group.
“Payment delays are systemic in B.C.’s construction sector. It is a significant problem for small businesses, families, workers and taxpayers that could be addressed simply and at no cost,” says PPBC.