New Corporate Manslaughter Fine Proposal 'A Step Forward'

Sentencing Council Say Convicted Firms Could Be Fined Up To £20 Million

27.10.2015

Workplace Injury specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have described the Sentencing Council’s proposal to implement tougher sentencing guidelines for companies convicted of corporate manslaughter as “a step forward” on the issue. 

The Sentencing Council has also suggested that companies found guilty of health and safety, as well as food safety and hygiene offences, should also receive harsher punishments. 

According to the council, the level of the fine should impact the company enough to clearly highlight the importance of operating in a safe environment, with the proposals meaning large firms potentially could face fines of up to £20 million. 

New guidelines also intend to provide greater consistency in sentencing for offences that occasionally come before judges and magistrates. 

Michael Caplan QC, a member of the Sentencing Council, said: “Our proposals will help ensure a consistent approach to sentencing, allowing fair and proportionate sentences across the board, with some of the most serious offenders facing tougher penalties.” 

Specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell represent injured victims and the loved ones of those which have been killed in accidents at work, helping them to gain answers and justice regarding the impact such incidents have had on their lives. 

Irwin Mitchell’s workplace injury expert Stephen Nye, said:

Expert Opinion
“It is an important step forward to see that the Sentencing Council is keen to ensure that the seriousness of workplace injuries and fatalities is recognised and reflected in the punishment that employers who fail to protect workers face.

“New figures from the Health and Safety Executive highlights that there were 142 fatalities in the workplace this year. This figure has increased from 2013/14 which highlights that more needs to be done to ensure people are kept safe when working.

“Hopefully implementing tougher punishments will alert organisations that this is an important issue that needs addressing as soon as possible, and in turn push all businesses to make sure that all employees are safe when working.

“Through our work we see a huge number of cases where people have suffered as a result of failings which should, and could, have been avoided and it is vital that more is done by employers to protect workers.”
Stephen Nye, Partner