The government has vowed to name online any large businesses that fail to pay their subcontractors in a timely manner.
The move is expected to have a significant effect on the outsourcing market, where large service providers often subcontract specific elements of projects to other firms in order to plug skills or capacity gaps.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced the move yesterday. Under the plans, small businesses would be able to highlight late payments, and the details would be published on the Cabinet Office website.
Maude also said the government would put pressure on large suppliers used by the government to pay their subcontractors within 30 days.
The announcement follows a pledge in May by the government to crack down on a culture of late payments. Last year, the Forum of Private Business named Dell in its late payer 'Hall of Shame' after it extended the time it took to pay suppliers by 15 days, to 65 days.