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NZCTU Welcomes Corporate Manslaughter Bill Introduction

NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff is calling on all political parties to support the new Member’s Bill from Labour’s workplace relations and safety spokesperson Camilla Belich MP that would ensure negligent companies are held accountable when their employees are killed at work.

The Crimes (Corporate Homicide) Amendment Bill would introduce a new criminal offence that provides that a person or entity will commit the offence if they have a relevant legal duty of care, and engage in conduct that exposes any individual to whom that duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury, are reckless as to that risk, and their conduct results in the death of the individual.

“Unions have long been calling for corporate manslaughter legislation. We commend Camilla Belich for showing leadership on this Workers’ Memorial Day by introducing this Bill and fighting to uphold the health and safety of working people,” said Wagstaff.

“This Bill would bring us in line with international best practice, but most importantly, it would save workers’ lives.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, the rate of workplace death is one of the worst in the developed world. There were 57 workplace fatalities in 2023 and three fatalities in the first 2 weeks of 2024. Every week 17 workers are killed as a consequence of their work.

“It’s a record we should be ashamed of, but it doesn’t have to be this way. This Bill is one of the most effective ways of preventing workplace deaths, as it holds employers accountable if they do not prioritise health and safety at work.

“Everyone deserves good work – work that is safe and secure, well-paid, and contributes to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

“The NZCTU are calling on the Government and all political parties to do the right thing and help ensure everyone is safe at work by supporting this Bill,” said Wagstaff.

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