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New guidance: Sentences for health and safety and other offences to have ‘real economic impact’ under new guidelines

Employers and individuals sentenced for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food hygiene offences face increased fines as a result of new guidelines requiring sentences to have a ‘real economic impact’.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert - January 2016

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The guidelines apply to sentences imposed from 1 February 2016, irrespective of when the offence was committed. Under the guidelines, the courts take into account:

  • The risk, and likelihood of the harm occurring (not just the resulting injury)
  • The culpability of the organisation or individual
  • The organisation’s revenue and profit

As an example, fines for ‘technical’ health and safety breaches which do not result in any injury are likely to start from:

  • £200 for a micro company (turnover up to £2m)
  • £700 for a small company (turnover from £2m to £10m)
  • £3k for a medium company (turnover from £10m to £50m)
  • £10k for a large company (turnover more than £50m)

Fines for flagrant health and safety failures resulting in death are likely to start from £250k for micro companies, £450k for small companies £1.6m for medium-sized companies and £4m for large companies.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Organisations and individuals should consider reviewing their health and safety and other policies, procedures and training to ensure they do not commit an offence and incur the increased penalties

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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