Fleet News

Union seeks tighter Scottish killing laws

SCOTTISH fleet directors could face prison sentences over fatal accidents involving their drivers if union calls for tougher corporate manslaughter laws prove successful.

The Transport & General Workers’ Union has reacted angrily to reports that the UK Government plans to introduce legislation on corporate manslaughter for Scotland, saying the proposals do not go far enough.

Under the plans, firms face unlimited fines if a death occurs following a serious failing by senior managers. Individual directors would not be personally liable. Union bosses are now campaigning to get a new Scottish-specific offence introduced of corporate killing through recklessness.

The union wants ‘gross negligence by senior managers’ replaced by ‘management recklessness’, specific individuals within management to face prosecution and a range of penalties available to courts.

A union spokesman told Fleet NewsNet: ‘We would like a scale of sentences for directors who are found to have been negligent in the event of a death of an employee, and this would include fleets.

‘It could range from community service, a prison term or disqualification of directors but unless directors themselves are held accountable it will not cause them to fear prosecution. Fines can be a drop in the ocean when you consider some company profits.’

The Scottish Executive said it would look at a draft bill which includes the proposal of corporate killing through recklessness, put forward by Member of Scottish Parliament Karen Gillon, as well as watching developments in Westminster and taking expert recommendations before reporting back in the autumn.

  • The union is hosting a public meeting on August 14 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in Glasgow on safer workplaces, which will include discussion on ‘corporate culpable homicide’. For further information phone Andrew Brady on 0141 352 8946 or email abrady@tgwu.org.uk
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