Magistrates Get Power to Issue Unlimited Fines

On the 12th of March this year the limit of £20,000 for health and safety offences tried through the Magistrates’ Court was removed and fines of unlimited amounts can now be imposed. The change, brought about through Section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, removes the cap on magistrates’ sentencing powers in respect of health and safety and other offences.

With Magistrates’ Courts now having the same sentencing powers as the Crown Court for health and safety offences, it is envisaged that they will dispose of more cases thereby freeing up the Crown Court to focus on the most serious cases and those that are triable on indictment only, such as corporate manslaughter or gross negligence manslaughter.

However, there is some nervousness over the perceived inexperience that many magistrates have in dealing with and sentencing corporate defendants. Such cases can often be very complex and technical and although sentencing guidelines should become available next year, lay magistrates do not have the training and legal expertise that a District Judge is equipped with.

It remains to be seen whether more cases will be disposed of through the Magistrates’ Court although the message ultimately remains the same – ensure you are properly managing all occupational risks and you will not fall foul of the law.

ONLINE TRAINING | IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors

Looking to improve your understanding of health and safety, demonstrate your commitment to employee wellbeing, and protect your business from prosecution? Learn essential skills in effective risk management, including how to create a COVID-secure workplace, with this one-day course for business owners, senior managers and directors.

29 September 2020 | 09:00 – 16:30

Director of Health & Safety Services

Nick Wilson

Health and safety should be a priority for any business but ensuring compliance can often feel like a daunting task. We’re here to help you turn complex regulations into sensible, proportionate controls.

Our live Client satisfaction rating is currently:

Last Updated:

Urgent Issue?

Why not take a look through our library of carefully created Health & Safety documents and templates to see if we have what you need?

Let's start talking on 0345 226 8393 or complete the form below.

More From EW

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Combating coronavirus | FREE advice and resources for employers

Our Coronavirus Advice Hub is open now. Get instant access to regularly updated guidance, sample policies, template risk assessments and more.
 
Click to explore what’s available.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Is Your Business Based in Scotland?

Go straight to our free sector-specific Risk Assessment Templates for Scottish organisations…
 
Click to explore what’s available.
Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.
Read our Privacy Policy.