UK to halt water boss bonuses over environmental breaches

The Environment Secretary has announced a crackdown on water company executives’ bonuses tied to criminal breaches, aiming to ensure accountability and deter illegal behaviour

Big Zero Report 2023

The UK Government has unveiled plans to prohibit bonuses for water company executives if their firms are found guilty of serious criminal breaches.

The Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay, emphasised the need for accountability, stating that no one should profit from illegal actions.

Under the proposed measures, executive board members and Chief Executives would be affected, with the ban expected to come into effect later this year pending consultation.

The move, part of a broader strategy to tackle pollution and ensure water quality, follows concerns over poor performance in the water sector.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said: “No one should profit from illegal behaviour and it’s time that water company bosses took responsibility for that.

“Tougher action is needed to address poor performance by water companies, which is why I am pleased Ofwat is going further today on bonus payments. In cases where companies have committed criminal breaches there is no justification whatsoever for paying out bonuses. It needs to stop now.

“I will shortly be setting out more detail on further steps to clean up our waters, including reducing the reliance on water company self-monitoring in order to hold them to account and drive the improvements we all need to see.”

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