In these troubled times, Network Rail has announced that it is giving thousands of British firms a vital boost to their cashflow by moving to immediate payments for its suppliers. Payment could now be up to seven days quicker for SMEs and up to 28 days quicker for other suppliers.
From Monday 30 March, Network Rail has committed to pay its suppliers immediately, or as close to immediately as possible, following approval of the payment ledger, with the expectation that subsequent payments flow down the supply chain.
Network Rail believes that faster payments will support and strengthen the extensive supply chain that has a key role to play during this Coronavirus pandemic, ensuring that the railway can continue to get critical medical supplies to hospitals, food to supermarkets, and key workers such as doctors, nurses and police officers to their jobs.
Clive Berrington, Network Rail’s commercial and procurement director, said: “Our priority is to support the supply chain as much as possible through these unprecedented times. We have therefore moved all our suppliers to immediate payment terms, or as close as you can get following approval of the invoice, and we expect that to flow down to the supply chain.
“Together, we can help to ensure we have a strong supply chain when we emerge from this pandemic.”
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), welcomed the new measures: “The Railway Industry association and our members will welcome these efforts by Network Rail to ensure rail suppliers are paid promptly.
“The entire railway industry is working hard to ensure the rail network remains open so key workers and resources are transported to where they need to be, to help the UK fight the spread of Coronavirus, and to also help spearhead efforts to help the UK economy get back to its feet when this crisis passes.
“This support will be gratefully received by many rail suppliers, providing vital assistance to businesses so they can continue through this difficult time. We would urge that these immediate payments are filtered down throughout the whole supply chain, so all suppliers large, medium and small, benefit from this welcome support.”