MP campaigns to bring in corporate killing offence

The push to bring in an offence of corporate killing is gathering pace with
a Labour MP launching a campaign to get the legislation on to the statute
books.

Andrew Dismore MP for Hendon said meeting victims and their families of the
King’s Cross fire and the Zeebrugge ferry disaster made him determined to see a
change in the law.

Dismore wants a new criminal offence of corporate killing which will see
company directors prosecuted in court if failure of management systems leads to
people losing their lives.

Such a change would have far-reaching implications for HR especially in the
safety-critical industries.

Checking references and qualifications would be critical as will
implementing and monitoring safety-related policies such as drug testing.

Putting his proposal to the House of Commons as a Private Member’s Bill on
18 April, Dismore said: "The Bill would put directors of companies that
kill in the dock to answer for their actions. If convicted, they would face not
only the full rigours of the law, but the equally important power of the court
to order them to put matters right for the future," he said.

The Bill is unlikely to become law but will fuel public debate on the issue
and put more pressure on the Government to act.

The Home Office confirmed last week that it will be putting out a
consultation paper on its own bill, which is likely to make similar proposals
to Dismore’s, in the next few weeks.

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