At our conference today, the Liberal Democrats have agreed to a raft of new policies which will see stricter penalties for companies that break the law, as part of a series of measures to improve corporate governance.
This would include scrapping the need to establish intent or guilt of a senior executive in cases of corporate failure, meaning that companies themselves could be held criminally liable.
Other new measures include calling for greater diversity on boards from under-represented groups, legally requiring employee representation on boards, introducing a “public interest” test for takeovers from overseas-based owners, and cracking down on the illegitimate use of shell companies
We are also calling for binding votes on executive pay and the regular publication of data on people paid less than the real living wage.
People’s faith in business has been shaken by a series of recent corporate scandals and the sense that those responsible aren’t being held to account.
These measures will help restore public confidence in the behaviour of corporations and deliver justice where real harm has been caused to people’s lives.
This will also encourage companies to consider the interests of their communities and employees, as well as their shareholders.