3. Organisations: Breach of duty of employer towards employees and non-employees/ Breach of duty of self-employed to others/ Breach of Health and Safety regulations

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(a) for breaches of sections 2 and 3), Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(c))
Effective from: 01 February 2016

Step 2 – Starting point and category range

Having determined the offence category, the court should identify the relevant table for the offender on the following pages. There are tables for different sized organisations.

At step two, the court is required to focus on the organisation’s annual turnover or equivalent to reach a starting point for a fine. The court should then consider further adjustment within the category range for aggravating and mitigating features.

At step three, the court may be required to refer to other financial factors listed below to ensure that the proposed fine is proportionate.

Obtaining financial information

Obtaining financial information
The offender is expected to provide comprehensive accounts for the last three years, to enable the court to make an accurate assessment of its financial status. In the absence of such disclosure, or where the court is not satisfied that it has been given sufficient reliable information, the court will be entitled to draw reasonable inferences as to the offender’s means from evidence it has heard and from all the circumstances of the case, which may include the inference that the offender can pay any fine.

Normally, only information relating to the organisation before the court will be relevant, unless exceptionally it is demonstrated to the court that the resources of a linked organisation are available and can properly be taken into account.

  1. For companies: annual accounts. Particular attention should be paid to turnover; profit before tax; directors’ remuneration, loan accounts and pension provision; and assets as disclosed by the balance sheet. Most companies are required to file audited accounts at Companies House. Failure to produce relevant recent accounts on request may properly lead to the conclusion that the company can pay any appropriate fine.
  2. For partnerships: annual accounts. Particular attention should be paid to turnover; profit before tax; partners’ drawings, loan accounts and pension provision; assets as above. Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) may be required to file audited accounts with Companies House. If adequate accounts are not produced on request, see paragraph 1.
  3. For local authorities, fire authorities and similar public bodies: the Annual Revenue Budget (‘ARB’) is the equivalent of turnover and the best indication of the size of the organisation. It is unlikely to be necessary to analyse specific expenditure or reserves (where relevant) unless inappropriate expenditure is suggested.
  4. For health trusts: the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts is Monitor. It publishes quarterly reports and annual figures for the financial strength and stability of trusts from which the annual income can be seen, available via the Monitor website. Detailed analysis of expenditure or reserves is unlikely to be called for.
  5. For charities: it will be appropriate to inspect annual audited accounts. Detailed analysis of expenditure or reserves is unlikely to be called for unless there is a suggestion of unusual or unnecessary expenditure.

Very large organisation

Where an offending organisation’s turnover or equivalent very greatly exceeds the threshold for large organisations, it may be necessary to move outside the suggested range to achieve a proportionate sentence.

Large - Turnover or equivalent: £50 million and over
Large Starting Point Range
Very high culpability
Harm category 1 £4,000,000 £2,600,000 – £10,000,000
Harm category 2 £2,000,000 £1,000,000 – £5,250,000
Harm category 3 £1,000,000 £500,000 – £2,700,000
Harm category 4 £500,000 £240,000 – £1,300,000
High culpability
Harm category 1 £2,400,000 £1,500,000 – £6,000,000
Harm category 2 £1,100,000 £550,000 – £2,900,000
Harm category 3 £540,000 £250,000 – £1,450,000
Harm category 4  £240,000  £120,000 – £700,000
Medium culpability
Harm category 1 £1,300,000 £800,000 – £3,250,000
Harm category 2 £600,000 £300,000 – £1,500,000
Harm category 3 £300,000 £130,000 – £750,000
Harm category 4 £130,000 £50,000 – £350,000
Low culpability
Harm category 1 £300,000 £180,000 – £700,000
Harm category 2 £100,000 £35,000 – £250,000
Harm category 3 £35,000 £10,000 – £140,000
Harm category 4 £10,000 £3,000 – £60,000
Medium - Turnover or equivalent: between £10 million and £50 million
Medium Starting Point Range
Very high culpability
Harm category 1 £1,600,000 £1,000,000 – £4,000,000
Harm category 2 £800,000 £400,000 – £2,000,000
Harm category 3 £400,000 £180,000 – £1,000,000
Harm category 4 £190,000 £90,000 – £500,000
High culpability
Harm category 1 £950,000 £600,000 – £2,500,000
Harm category 2 £450,000 £220,000 – £1,200,000
Harm category 3 £210,000 £100,000 – £550,000
Harm category 4  £100,000  £50,000 – £250,000
Medium culpability
Harm category 1 £540,000 £300,000 – £1,300,000
Harm category 2 £240,000 £100,000 – £600,000
Harm category 3 £100,000 £50,000 – £300,000
Harm category 4 £50,000 £20,000 – £130,000
Low culpability
Harm category 1 £130,000 £75,000 – £300,000
Harm category 2 £40,000 £14,000 – £100,000
Harm category 3 £14,000 £3,000 – £60,000
Harm category 4 £3,000 £1,000 – £10,000

 

Small - Turnover or equivalent: between £2 million and £10 million
Small Starting Point Range
Very high culpability
Harm category 1 £450,000 £300,000 – £1,600,000
Harm category 2 £200,000 £100,000 – £800,000
Harm category 3 £100,000 £50,000 – £400,000
Harm category 4 £50,000 £20,000 – £190,000
High culpability
Harm category 1 £250,000 £170,000 – £1,000,000
Harm category 2 £100,000 £50,000 – £450,000
Harm category 3 £54,000 £25,000 – £210,000
Harm category 4  £24,000  £12,000 – £100,000
Medium culpability
Harm category 1 £160,000 £100,000 – £600,000
Harm category 2 £54,000 £25,000 – £230,000
Harm category 3 £24,000 £12,000 – £100,000
Harm category 4 £12,000 £4,000 – £50,000
Low culpability
Harm category 1 £45,000 £25,000 – £130,000
Harm category 2 £9,000 £3,000 – £40,000
Harm category 3 £3,000 £700 – £14,000
Harm category 4 £700 £100 – £5,000
Micro - Turnover or equivalent: not more than £2 million
Micro Starting Point Range
Very high culpability
Harm category 1 £250,000 £150,000 – £450,000
Harm category 2 £100,000 £50,000 – £200,000
Harm category 3 £50,000 £25,000 – £100,000
Harm category 4 £24,000 £12,000 – £50,000
High culpability
Harm category 1 £160,000 £100,000 – £250,000
Harm category 2 £54,000 £30,000 – £110,000
Harm category 3 £30,000 £12,000 – £54,000
Harm category 4  £12,000  £5,000 – £21,000
Medium culpability
Harm category 1 £100,000 £60,000 – £160,000
Harm category 2 £30,000 £14,000 – £70,000
Harm category 3 £14,000 £6,000 – £25,000
Harm category 4 £6,000 £2,000 – £12,000
Low culpability
Harm category 1 £30,000 £18,000 – £60,000
Harm category 2 £5,000 £1,000 – £20,000
Harm category 3 £1,200 £200 – £7,000
Harm category 4 £200 £50 – £2,000