Businesses in construction and real estate were forced to wait over 15 weeks for invoice payments last year, despite the ongoing economic recovery.
The new report, published today by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), comes after recent research by insolvency trade body R3 revealed £41.5bn in late payments was owed to UK businesses in the past six months.
ABFA identified construction and real estate as the sectors worst affected by late payments, with the waiting period increasing 22 per cent over the last five years. Companies in this sector now wait on average 107 days, compared to 88 days in 2008.
Government concern over increasing pay delays led business secretary Sajid Javid last week to announce the inclusion of plans to create a small business conciliation service in the upcoming enterprise bill. The new service is intended to help settle disputes between small and large businesses over late payment practices.
Legal and accountancy is the second-worst sector for late payment, with the average waiting period at 78 days.