It was one of a number of new Bills announced in the Queen’s Speech, but fleets could have up to a year-and-a- half before it is introduced.
But they are being urged to ensure they meet their duty of care obligations to drivers immediately, particularly as police now keep official records of work-related road accidents.
The long-awaited Corporate Manslaughter Bill aims to make it easier to prosecute companies following fatal accidents. Proposals for reforming the law were published in March but never went ahead because of the General Election.
The Government said it aimed to offer a more effective sanction for holding companies and other organisations to account over the safety of their workers and members of the public. Unions have welcomed the Government’s commitment to introducing the Bill with the TUC claiming it scotches rumours that it had fallen victim again to Whitehall infighting.
The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has raised concerns that the new law could have ‘serious repercussions’ for its members.
Chief executive Matthew Carrington added: ‘We will be looking very carefully at the proposals to make sure that they are not unnecessarily punitive.’
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is also calling on the Government to ensure the legislation is fair.
Deputy director-general John Cridland said: ‘The grossly negligent must be separated from genuinely responsible employers who do everything possible to ensure safety. We also want to see the Government address the issue of Crown immunity – any rules must apply equally to the public sector and business.’