The Environment Secretary has announced that water bosses are set to be banned from receiving bonuses if a company has committed serious criminal breaches.

Ofwat will be taking forward a consultation to define the criteria for a ban. That could include successful prosecution for a Category 1 or 2 pollution incident – such as causing significant pollution at a bathing site or conservation area – or where a company has been found guilty of serious management failings.

The ban would apply to all executive board members and Chief Executives and would be expected to come into effect later this year, subject to consultation. If taken forward, Ofwat would implement the measures by changing the conditions of water company licences. For water companies in England this would be done using the powers given to the regulator through the Environment Act 2021.

However, Sky News reports that the move was ‘too weak and feeble’ according to the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems have been running a Stop Sewage Dumping campaign for the last two years.

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