A move to change the law around workplace deaths has been voted down at the Scottish Parliament.
Labour MSP Claire Baker proposed a new offence of causing death by gross negligence, but the Presiding Officer and the Scottish Government said her bill was unworkable as it fell outside the competence of Holyrood.
Yesterday, MSPs voted against the general principles of the Culpable Homicide (Scotland) Bill by 26 votes to 89. Ms Baker was told the issue may be considered again following the Scottish Parliament election in May. The bill was intended to allow greater accountability for companies responsible for workplace fatalities. During the debate, she said: “I’m very disappointed at the Scottish Government’s response and lack of support for the bill.”
She disputed the Presiding Officer’s ruling and said the issue “comes down to political will”.
Ms Baker argued that the SNP had called for tougher laws on workplace deaths while in opposition. She said: “To support the principles of this bill in opposition and then not take action in Government, once the SNP have power, leaves them open to accusations of being supine.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the bill was well-intentioned but could lead to prosecutions being challenged in court.
Mr Yousaf added: “Passing bad legislation now could lead to convictions being overturned in future, and that’s not something to be taken lightly.”
However, he said the bill could be considered again during Holyrood’s next session.