Minister promises corporate manslaughter law

Home Office minister Fiona McTaggart has said a new law on corporate manslaughter will be implemented by the end of this parliament.

The government has been promising to revise laws that would hold companies responsible for acts of negligence leading to the death of a member of staff since 1997.

It is difficult to gain a conviction under the present law because the onus is on the prosecution to prove that criminal acts were committed by the “controlling mind” of a company that has been grossly negligent.

The Home Office has decided to publish a draft bill but has not committed to a legislative timetable, but McTaggart told the Financial Times that the draft bill “could not be shelved indefinitely”.

She also said that the government would stick to its proposal that individual directors should not be personally liable. Unions have made strong calls for jail sentences for executives as a way of deterring negligence.

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