03 October, 2018
Under new court guidelines to be introduced on 1st November 2018, managers charged with gross negligence manslaughter will face longer prison terms up to 18 years.
It is the first time that the Sentencing Council have drawn up guidelines for these serious and difficult cases. Such cases are often rare and the introduction of the guidelines will promote consistency in sentencing and transparency in determining sentencing.
On the whole, the Sentencing Council has suggested that for the majority of cases the sentence levels are unlikely to change with the exception of gross negligence cases, for instance where "an employer's long standing and serious disregard for the safety of employees, motivated by cost cutting, has led to someone being killed".
The new guidelines have been implemented on the back of increasing public pressure following Grenfell. The guidelines are yet another example of the tougher stance being taken in relation to those responsible for serious health and safety offences in the workplace. The guidelines are retrospective and will apply to all cases heard before the courts after 1st November 2018.