PracticeAccounting FirmsCompanies to take blame for fatal accidents

Companies to take blame for fatal accidents

The government's decision to reverse its policy on corporate killing means company directors will no longer face the threat of jail time if the company causes a fatal accident.

Link: Corporate manslaughter prosecutions rise

A new law, which may be included in the Queen’s autumn speech, will place virtually all punishment on the company itself, rather than on the directors of the company, according to a report in the FT.

This change in policy was revealed in a Home Office letter sent to companies in the transport, mining and construction industries, where the fatality rate is relatively high.

The new criminal offence of corporate killing caused by management failure will be charged in the instance where the company’s conduct fell ‘far below what could be reasonably be expected’.

The new law was slammed by the CBI, who said it could leave companies defenceless.

A recent study found that a record number of company directors and executives had been prosecuted for corporate manslaughter since 1998.

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