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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make company directors legally responsible for health and safety breaches within their companies;
(2) what assessment he has made of the effects on the number of convictions for breaches of health and safety legislation of the absence of legally binding duties for health and safety on company directors;
The Government believe that there is already an appropriate balance of legislative and non-legislative responsibilities on directors in relation to health and safety and have no immediate plans to legislate.
However, we have asked the Health and Safety Executive to assess the effectiveness of the current measures in place concerning director responsibilities for health and safety, to review all the available evidence and to report its findings together with recommendations by December 2005. The issues raised by my hon. Friend will be considered as part of that assessment.
Once this review has been completed, the Government will be in a position to reconsider the issue of further legislation.