The Corporate manslaughter law came into being in 2008 and applies to all companies in the UK. Depending on the size of your company and the circumstances, it can result in a multi-million pound fine. However, what is corporate manslaughter and what is the purpose of the law?
What Is Corporate Manslaughter?
Before the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, companies could be prosecuted for offences such as ‘gross negligence manslaughter’. For prosecution to be pursued, it had to be shown that a particular individual at the company could be charged with negligence. The main difference in the current law is that now senior management collectively can be prosecuted, i.e. there is no longer a requirement of negligence of one specific person.
Corporate manslaughter is not, therefore, used to prosecute individuals. Existing laws cover those instances. Corporate Manslaughter laws are used to prosecute companies, who, through negligence of their health and safety responsibilities, cause the death of a person.
Corporate Manslaughter Penalties
- Fines – There is no upper limit on the fine a court can impose, although guidelines indicate that organisations with a turnover of over £50 million can expect fines of up to £20 million.
- Remedial orders – Court orders detailing what the company must do to correct the management failures that caused the death.
- Publicity orders – Orders instructing companies to publicise details of their conviction, including the size of the fine and information on remedial orders.
Are You at Risk?
Corporate Manslaughter laws do not impose any new obligations or duties on companies. In addition, they are not part of the laws covering health and safety. That said, companies that do not take their health and safety obligations seriously, or that do not regularly review how health and safety is managed within their business, are likely to be at substantially greater risk than those that do.
This is why undergoing training courses such as ours is so important. In the course, you’ll find out more about the offence, but crucially, you’ll also get recommendations on what you can do to mitigate your risk.
Taking the right steps will ensure you are protected. Please see below for more information on the course.
- Define Corporate Manslaughter
- List the offences under Corporate Manslaughter Act
- Identify and use recommendations for compliance with Corporate Manslaughter Act
- Definition of Manslaughter
- Before the Act
- The Act – A Landmark in law
- Corporate Manslaughter – Offences
- Duty of Care
- Corporate Manslaughter – Penalties
- Corporate Manslaughter – Implications
- Recent cases
- Recommendations and Conclusions