New corporate manslaughter laws could hit hard

Changes to corporate manslaughter laws could spell trouble for employers whose staff are involved in serious road accidents.

The changes, which come into force on 6 April next year, leave such companies open to prosecution for gross negligence – even if no company car is involved.

‘Many companies have moved away from traditional company cars believing they have eliminated a health and safety headache,’ says Jason Francis, managing director of fleet software specialist Jaama. ‘They haven’t.

‘Companies are responsible for employees who drive their own cars on business from a health and safety perspective, as well as the vehicles driven.’

In the event of a serious or fatal crash involving an occupational driver, adds Francis, police will want to ascertain why the vehicle was at the scene, the mechanical condition of the vehicle, and the physical condition of the driver.

‘This includes such data as being able to prove that frequent vehicle safety checks are undertaken, vehicles are serviced in accordance with manufacturer warranties, and driving licences are monitored,’ Francis explains.

Jaama has developed fleet management software that assists employers in monitoring occupational road safety.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

Related Topics

Cars and Vehicles