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Directors Duties - Chronology
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Director Duties - Chronology

Government and HSC’s delay and further delay on its commitment to change the law

June 2000 Publication of Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement
  • Draft voluntary guidance
  • Government commitment to change the law when parliamentary time allowed
  • HSC agreement to advise the Government on legal change
Aug 2000 HSE drafts voluntary guidance. Undertakes consultation
Jan 2001

HSC meeting: Decision to publish voluntary guidance. "The need for further legislation in this area was being considered in the context of the Safety Bill. The guidance should be viewed as the first stage in ensuring directors took up their responsibilities; this would be evaluated and provide evidence on the need for further methods."

Jan 2001 -

Evaluation of voluntary guidance

Oct 2003 HSC meeting - Consideration of evaluation. “The Commission did not consider it appropriate at this time to recommend to Ministers a new legal duty on directors.”
July 2004

Select Committee: "The Committee recommends that the Government reconsiders its decision not to legislate on directors duties and brings forward proposals for pre-legislative scrutiny in the next session of Parliament.

Oct 2004

The Government, responded to the report by stating: " The Government has asked HSC to undertake further evaluation to assess the effectiveness and progress of the current measures in place, legislative and voluntary, and to report its findings and recommendations by December 2005."

Nov 2004 HSE Commissions research
Dec 05

HSC meeting: Supported principle of legal duties. HSC asked the HSE to “provide a paper to the commission in April [2006] on the options, their implications, what the legislation might look like and timescales.” It went on to say that “there was a need to produce authoritative guidance which had widespread stakeholder buy in. Work on this should not start until a decision on how to the amend the legislation is made.”

May 06 HSC Meeting: Delay decision on legal duties whilst wait for outcome of corporate manslaughter bill, companies law reform, and reforms on alternative penalties.
June 06 – Drafting of voluntary guidance despite decision in December 05 stating that should not be drafted
June 07

Publication of further voluntary guidance

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Page last updated on June 21, 2007