The Coronavirus (CORVID-19) epidemic is causing a lot of financial worry, uncertainty and hardship. Some large companies are furloughing their staff, on reduced incomes, and seeking to claim the cost back from the government.
Others, including a number of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are seeking to work things through.
Some Network Rail contractors are still working to maintain the railway and keep trains moving, 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.
To help them, Network Rail has announced that it will be making immediate payments to its suppliers, a move that could give thousands of British firms a vital boost to their cashflow during the crisis. Payment could now be up to seven days quicker for SMEs and up to 28 days quicker for other suppliers, the infrastructure owner estimates.
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. It believes that faster payments will support and strengthen the extensive supply chain that keeps Britain’s railway moving.
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.”