Plumbers experience more payment disputes

A new study has revealed that the average plumber experiences more payment disputes than any other trade. A typical plumbing business with have a dispute with customers 2.6 times per year, while the average for all tradespeople is twice a year, with over £1000 per year withheld from tradespeople by customers.
The research, conducted by IronmongeryDirect, found that an average £1062 is owed to tradespeople across the UK. A third (33%) said they were waiting for over £1000 from customers for completed jobs, while nearly one in ten (7%) are owed over £3000. 

Nearly two thirds (61%) of tradespeople have had payments withheld by customers, which occurs twice per year on average. More than one in ten (12%) however, experience withheld payments more than five times a year. 

Only 6% of tradespeople say that the payment issues are resolved within a week, while more than one in five (22%) have had to wait more than a month to be paid for a job. 

Trades most likely to have payments withheld (times per year) 

  1. Plumber: 2.6  
  2. Electrician: 2.4 
  3. Builder: 2.3 
  4. Bricklayer: 2.2 
  5. Carpenter: 1.9 
  6. Surveyor: 1.8 
  7. Joiner: 1.7 
  8. Painter & decorator: 1.6 
  9. Plasterer: 1.3 
  10. Landscaper: 1.2 

Female tradespeople were found to receive payment quicker than their male counterparts, experiencing higher rates of payment within a week (8% vs 4%) and within a fortnight (34% vs 20%). However, women were also found to be owed higher sums of money, with an average of £1168 outstanding, compared to £972 for men. 

When it comes to age, millennials (25-34 year olds) are more likely to experience withheld payments than older tradespeople, with an average of 2.5 payment issues per year, compared to 1.6 for 55–64-year-olds and 1.7 for over 65s. People in this age group were also more likely to be owed larger sums of money, with millennials owed the most at £1258 compared to other generations. Despite this, invoice problems were solved quicker for younger generations, with 14% of millennials waiting more than a month for payment, compared to half (50%) of 55–64-year-olds 

Dominick Sandford, director and head of merchandising & marketing at IronmongeryDirectcomments: “Withheld payments are an annoyance that every tradesperson has to deal with at some point or another, but when significant amounts are owed by customers it can become a serious threat to your financial security. It’s shocking to see how much tradespeople are waiting on and how long they’re having to wait for their payment following a job. We hope our useful tips help tradies get paid quicker and without any hiccups along the way. 

For more tips on dealing with outstanding payments and your legal rights, visit:  

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