For some time now the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) has been considering draft guidelines drawn up last year by the Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP). These recommended that fines should be linked to a percentage of the company's turnover when the company is convicted following a death at work. The percentages recommended were up to 10% of turnover in corporate manslaughter cases, and 7.5% of turnover for Health and Safety at Work Act charges. The Annual report of the SGC/SAP published on 24 June confirms that they are aiming to publish a draft guideline this Summer. The recommendations if implemented are likely to lead to a substantial increase in fines for companies convicted. Currently, the annual profits of a convicted company are used to determine the appropriate level of fine rather than turnover. The SGC had recommended that the SAP carry out further investigations before the guidance can be finalised, and it is unclear whether they will be agreed in their current form, if at all. Particularly in the current economic climate, there is a concern that the change in the procedure for calculating fines from turnover as against profit would in some cases cripple companies who do not have healthy balance sheets. We have set out the difference in fines that the SAP proposals would have on cases which are detailed below to illustrate the impact they would have. We will keep you advised of progress of the proposals in further editions of the HSE Bulletin.