Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences guidelines

Closed 18 Feb 2015

Opened 13 Nov 2014


The Council is consulting on the draft guidelines for sentencing health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety offences. The Council is not consulting on the legislation that establishes these offences, which is a matter for Parliament.

Equally, issues that are the responsibility of the relevant regulatory bodies, such as wider enforcement policy or the decision to bring a prosecution, are outside of the scope of this consultation.

The Council is keen to seek as many views as possible from people and organisations interested in its proposals. In particular the Council is seeking views on:

  • the scope of each guideline;
  • the overall approach proposed to sentencing organisations and individuals for these offences;
  • factors that make these offences more or less serious;
  • the principles of sentencing in this area;
  • the sentences that should be passed for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety offences; and
  • anything else that you think should be considered.

The Council recognises that some respondents may only have an interest in one of the areas covered by the draft guidelines. Such respondents should feel free to address only those matters of interest to them. The structure of the consultation is as follows:

  • Section 1: Overarching issues: this section contains information and questions relating to issues that cut across all five of the draft guidelines; most respondents will therefore wish to consider this section.
  • Section 2: Health and Safety offences: guidelines for individuals and organisations.
  • Section 3: Corporate manslaughter guideline.
  • Section 4: Food Safety offences: guidelines for individuals and organisations.
  • Section 5: Questions relating to victims and equality and diversity matters across all guidelines.

What else is happening as part of this consultation process?

During the 14-week public consultation, the Council will organise a number of consultation events to seek the views of groups with an interest in this area, as well as sentencers. Further research is planned for the consultation period to help improve the Council’s understanding of the effect of the new guideline.  Specifically research will be conducted with sentencers to better understand how they will use the guideline in practice.  Once the consultation exercise is over and the guideline revised, a final guideline will be published and used by all adult courts.


  • Judiciary


  • Criminal justice