Guide

Corporate manslaughter

Corporate manslaughter prosecutions and penalties

You must report most serious incidents in the workplace. All work-related deaths should be reported to the police and to the relevant regulator, eg the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland or local council.

Corporate manslaughter investigations

The police will first investigate to see whether a serious criminal offence such as murder or manslaughter has been committed. They will work with the relevant regulators as appropriate. If the police find no evidence of such a serious criminal offence, the investigation is passed over to the relevant regulator.

Cases of corporate manslaughter are likely to be rare because the new offence is intended to cover only the worst cases of failure across a business to manage health and safety properly.

Corporate manslaughter prosecutions

In Northern Ireland, the consent of the relevant Director of Public Prosecutions is needed before a case of corporate manslaughter can be taken to court.

Whether or not a prosecution for corporate manslaughter is brought, other health and safety charges may be taken at the same time. Individual directors, managers or owners may also be prosecuted separately for manslaughter or health and safety offences where there is sufficient evidence.

Corporate manslaughter penalties

Businesses found guilty of corporate manslaughter are liable to an unlimited fine. Courts may also require a business to take steps to address the failures behind the death (a remedial order).