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Corporate Killing

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the results were of his Department's Regulatory Impact Assessment on the Government's proposals to change the law on corporate killing. [118732]

The results of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) are still being assessed but the preliminary indications are that the costs of a change in the law will not be large. As made clear in the RIA, no new burdens will be placed on companies in terms of the standards with which they will be legally required to comply.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the legislation in force in relation to corporate killing. [118734]

Currently companies who cause death through systemic management failure may be prosecuted for the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter, and are subject to a number of other statutory regimes relating to health and safety.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list recent meetings he has had with (a) companies and business leaders and (b) trade unions on the issue of corporate killing and possible legislation on it. [118735]

Home Office Ministers have met with a number of organisations to discuss the issue of corporate killing over the past few years. Most recently these included:

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TU on 27 February 2003
Digby Jones, CBI Director General on 12 May 2003
William Moyes and deputation from the British Retail Consortium on 2 June 2003
In addition a number of meetings have been held with officials. Further meetings with key stakeholders will be convened over the next few months in order to inform the development of proposals for legislation on corporate killing.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is his policy that Crown employees should be held accountable on the same basis as company directors under any new legislation on corporate killing. [119202]

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 20 May 2003 that firm proposals for legislation on corporate killing will be published before the end of this year. The position of Crown bodies in relation to any new proposals will be an issue for consideration. No decision has yet been made.