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GMB Response To Government Announcement On Corporate Manslaughter Bill

The GMB do welcome some of the positive statements from the Home Affairs and Pensions Committee. GMB welcomes the proposal for juries to consider the corporate culture throughout an organisation when looking at serious breaches as the examples shown by directors and employers can have a profound influence on how an organisation conducts itself. The GMB welcomes the other recommendations from the Committees and in particular the introduction of a more innovative range of sanctions against negligent employers and directors.

The GMB is disappointed that more work needs to be done on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill. The GMB fear that this may delay an already long overdue legislative change. Many of the concerns raised by the Committee echo comments that the GMB made during the consultation process.

Firstly the proposed “Senior Management” test- as the GMB believes it to be too ill defined. The proposal that there should be secondary liability for corporate manslaughter will lead to organisations and their managers taking their responsibilities more seriously. Second while the removal of Crown immunity is both welcome and overdue the GMB consider that there are too many proposed exemptions.

Acting General Secretary, Paul Kenny, today said “At last the law makers are starting to take the corporate law breakers seriously. These proposals can make a real difference and GMB members want to see real change, and justice for those who are killed and maimed at work. These changes should not delay the Bill any longer and the GMB want to see a Bill with teeth enacted before the end of this parliamentary session”.

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