Ill-treatment and wilful neglect—care worker and care provider offences
Produced in partnership with Jeannie Mackie of Doughty Street Chambers
Ill-treatment and wilful neglect—care worker and care provider offences

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Jeannie Mackie of Doughty Street Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ill-treatment and wilful neglect—care worker and care provider offences
  • Prevention of ill-treatment or neglect regime
  • The care worker offence
  • The care provider offence

This Practice Note analyses the care worker offences brought in by sections 20 and 21 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJCA 2015). These offences have been in force since 13 April 2015.

Prevention of ill-treatment or neglect regime

CJCA 2015 introduced two offences into the range of measures designed to protect vulnerable individuals from wilful neglect and ill-treatment by people or organizations with responsibility for their care.

The other primary measures are:

  1. section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (CYPA 1933)

  2. section 127 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MeHA 1983), and

  3. section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005)

CYPA 1933, s 1 protects children and young people from neglect/ill-treatment from any person who has ‘responsibility’ for them, primarily parents against whom it is mainly used.

MeHA 1983, s 127 makes it an offence for the staff or managers of hospitals and care homes to ill-treat or neglect any mentally disordererd patient or outpatient.

MCA 2005, s 44 mirrors MeHA 1983, s 127 in its terms, and applies to individuals who lack capacity within the meaning of MCA 2005.

CJCA 2015, s 20 mirrors MCA 2005, s 44 in that it makes it an offence for an individual to wilfully neglect or ill-treat a person in their care. This is known as the ‘care worker offence’.