Changes to the Sentencing Guidelines
The Sentencing Council published new sentencing guidelines in November 2015 on Health and Safety, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene offences. This will apply to all companies and individuals aged 18 or over and guidelines will come into force on the 1st February 2016, regardless of the date of the offence.
What does this mean?
Essentially, the new guidelines mean that penalties and fines will be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the financial means of the offender(s) or organisation. For example, the seriousness of Health and Safety cases are varied and in some instances, offenders will receive higher penalties depending on the size of the organisation and seriousness of the offence. The new fines are not only unlimited (as opposed to a maximum of £20,000) for most Health and Safety cases, but judges now have the power to fine any amount deemed suitable and appropriate to the severity of the case and culpability of the offender. As an example, large companies that have a £50m+ turnover are likely to see fines upwards of £5m+ as a starting point, if it is a category A offence. In summary, the new sentencing guidelines have the potential to prove very costly to businesses and as a result businesses are now motivated to ensure their health and safety and risk services are robust and complete.
To give you an idea of how the sentencing guidelines could affect your business, Adam Webb the Associate Director of Risk Services, has put together fines in relation to business size;
How can this affect your business?
- Small Companies/ Organisations (Less than £2m turnover):
- Range of fines typically will be £50 to £450,000
- For a trivial breach it will probably be up to £2,000
- If it relates to a death, it is likely to be between £150,000 and £450,000
- Medium sized companies/ organisations (£2m-£10m turnover):
- Range of fines typically will be £100 to £1,600,000
- For a trivial breach it will probably be up to £5,000
- If it relates to a death, it is likely to be between £540,000 and £2,800,000
- Larger companies (£10m-£50m turnover):
- Range of fines typically will be £1,000 to £4,000,000
- For a trivial breach it will probably be up to £10,000
- If it relates to a death, it is likely to be between £1,800,000 and £7,500,000
How can we help you?
If you would like to find out more you can contact me on; email@example.com or 0121 423 6200.
Michelle Jenkins BSc (Hons) GradIOSH
Risk Services Director