Since February 2016, judges imposing fines for Corporate Manslaughter, health and safety offences and food safety offences have been required to follow a methodology set out in the Sentencing Council’s Definitive Guideline (the “Guideline”).
The stated aims of the Guideline included increasing the level of fines imposed on larger companies and providing greater certainty. Whilst the first objective is clearly being met (with a marked increase in the level of fines imposed on larger companies) it is less clear that those larger companies have any greater certainty in relation to the level of fines they may face.
Two recent sentencing decisions provide further insight into how the Guideline is being applied. See our Health and Safety update here for further information.