THE LONG-AWAITED Bill outlining a criminal offence of corporate manslaughter was announced this week in the Queen's Speech at the opening of the new parliament.
A statutory offence is proposed that will make it easier to bring corporations to account if they fail to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees. The penalty will be unlimited fines and court orders to change the management structure.
Unions and pressure group the Centre for Corporate Accountability welcomed the Bill but renewed calls for compulsory directors'duties on health and safety.The proposed law does not target individuals, only collective senior management.
TGWU construction secretary Bob Blackman said: 'A corporate manslaughter law is something we need urgently because many people are completely unaccountable when somebody is killed at work.'