What is the corporate manslaughter act?

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act was introduced in 2007 and now means that companies and organisation can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter due to serious management failures that have resulted in a breach of the duty of care held by those in power enforced by law.

The Act sets out numerous criminal liabilities of companies that sees serious failures of the management of health safety that can result in a fatality.

The Act came into power in 2008 and now means that organisations are now in the legal position to ensure that employees are protected at work and whilst travelling during their duties of employment. On a basic level this means that organisations must have a host of policies in place in order to ensure that the wellbeing of employees is being protected. This can start from having a travel policy in place to ensuring that employees are educated on general health and safety in the workplace.

Companies who are found to be breaking or breaching this Act will face high ramifications and are likely to face large fines. Numerous landmark cases within the press have seen high fines imposed on companies.

In cases where death occurs due to the neglect of companies, high fines will be enforced. This Act has been created to ensure that employers put the wellbeing of employees above the act of making profits.

A limit has not been placed on the amount of fines that can be placed on an organisation and there is not a cap on the amount that an organisation can be fined. In some cases the fine can be around 5% of the annual turnover of the business. As well as firms being liable to face high financial fines, the organisations may also be named and shamed publicly. It is hoped that this potentially damming media may lead to employers ensuring they meet the requirements of the Act.

An increase in business travel has meant that employers must now put travl policies in place to ensure that employees are protected. These policies are usually general health and safety policies that not only protect the employee but also the employer.

The first company to be fined under the act was Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings who faced a hefty fine of 385,000. This was after the death of a worker whilst at work. Numerous other fines have been imposed by the regulators on other companies.