Justice Minister: Law will ensure proper accountability - when very serious management failings lead to people being killed
A new offence of corporate manslaughter (corporate homicide) will come into force on April 6, 2008.
The 2007 Act changes the basis on which companies are liable for prosecution for manslaughter. Gross failures in the management of health and safety, causing death, will be liable to prosecution as corporate manslaughter from April 2008.
Guidance to help companies and organisations prepare for the Act has been published.
Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: "It is extremely important that companies and other organisations take health and safety seriously. Failure to do so can have devastating consequences - not only for the families of those affected but also for the businesses involved.
"This law will ensure that there is proper accountability - when very serious management failings lead to people being killed. This is not about over-regulation. Businesses should see this as an opportunity to make sure they have proper arrangements in place for managing health and safety. It is crucial for the people they employ and their customers that they are responsible and successful corporate citizens."