Corporate manslaughter

09 July 2019

It's essential under health & safety laws to provide a safe and secure working environment for your employees. The same applies to other individuals visiting your premises.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCHA) is responsible for upholding safety laws across the UK.

Your business must take health & safety seriously—regardless of the industry. Employees can receive serious injury in an office, retail environment, or on a construction site. Regardless of the location, serious accidents are possible. 

It's essential you make sure your business operates high safety standards, so speak to an expert on 0800 028 2420 for immediate assistance.

You can also read through this guide—we cover important information and existing UK laws. We also explain how you can safeguard your employees, and business, from potential accidents.  

What is corporate manslaughter?

It's where a business has failed to take steps—or direct action—to prevent serious accidents. And where that breach of duty leads to the death of an employee or other individual.

In other words, a death is as a result of mismanagement. This makes it a criminal offence for limited companies and other public bodies, such as the NHS.

For a business to be responsible for an individual’s death, a gross breach of duties must take place—one where the employer has failed in their duty of care.

So your focus must be on general corporate procedures and processes to avoid serious incidents.

The likes of a risk assessment and monitoring of daily safety standards are a big factor in helping to overcome serious injuries (or worse) at the workplace.

Again, the CMCHA governs corporate manslaughter regulations.

Legal punishment for corporate manslaughter

In corporate manslaughter sentencing, as this is such a serious issue, any business found guilty may face an unlimited fine.

There's a recommendation from the government’s Sentencing Council for England and Wales that provides further details. 

But were you to face a fine, the bigger your business is the higher the amount is likely to be. Calculations for fines typically take into account the overall profitability and annual turnover.

The Sentencing Council will also take into consideration whether the fine would make the business face bankruptcy.

However, the Sentencing Council can still go ahead and fine a business. Even if it means it'll have to close down.

There was a “definitive sentencing guideline” published in 2016, with fines ranging from £180,000 to £20 million (as a maximum)—for businesses with an annual revenue of £50 million or more.

Again, this highlights the extreme importance of maintaining thorough procedures—such as a fire risk assessments that could save lives and prevent injuries.

Getting help with serious employment law issues

At Peninsula Business Services, we’re an industry-leading HR, employment law, and health & safety consultant.

In operation since 1983, we’ve helped tens of thousands of businesses to successfully handle often highly stressful and complex employment law matters.

Our employment law service operates 24/7 and provides instant access to expert guidance.

This can be for minor issues, but also in the event of a serious accident at your workplace.

We’re only ever a phone call away ready with over 30 years’ experience assisting small and medium-sized businesses.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

CMCHA was a landmark Act upon its introduction over a decade ago.

It means companies and organisation are capable of being found guilty in the event of corporate manslaughter. Since 6th April 2008, the Act has been in force.

As the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) states, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is important to follow a duty of care. This ensures a business doesn’t act negligently.  

Need our help?

You can get in touch with us by requesting a call back—we’ll respond as soon as possible. Call us today on 0800 028 2420.

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