Clause 18 - Liability of others for certain offences committed by bodies

Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 9 May 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The clause makes a person potentially liable for an offence committed by a body, when that offence has been committed with their consent, connivance or neglect. That means that a person would be liable in addition to the body, such as the company or partnership, that they are working for. It helps the overall purpose of the Bill by supporting local authority trading standards in enforcing tobacco and vape age of sale regulations, as they can punish both individuals and businesses when conducting their enforcement activity. I commend the clause to the Committee.

Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (Primary Care and Public Health)

As with previous clauses, we support clause 18. It would not be right if someone working in a local shop could receive orders from a higher authority in their organisation to breach the regulations, but only that person or premises could be proceeded against, not the company or the director, manager or senior person who may ultimately be responsible.

There are already a number of situations in our law where, if an offence is committed by a company and it is proven to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a director, manager or senior person, that person is also guilty of the offence. I am satisfied that the clause is an appropriate application of that mechanism, as it refers to the persistent breach of regulations, and therefore would indicate a systemic problem. We support its inclusion in the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 18 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.