Preventing Bribery at Work

Bribery in the workplace is an extremely serious issue, which can have a highly damaging outcome for not only the individual involved but the entire company.

While bribery is not necessarily a common occurrence, the potential risks are incredibly damaging and it is therefore essential to have a strong anti-bribery policy, including details on the definition of bribery and what can and cannot be lawfully accepted.

The government released the Bribery Act in 2010, with this modernisation of the law on bribery coming into force on 1st July 2011. The act states that “genuine hospitality or similar business expenditure that is reasonable and proportionate” is not illegal and should not be counted as bribery.

The bribery act guidance explains that providing tickets to sporting events, taking clients to dinner, paying reasonable expenses and otherwise providing gifts for clients is allowed, as long as it is “reasonable and proportionate” for your business. However, facilitation payments (which are payments made to officials to perform routine operations) are bribery, with no exemptions in any part of the Bribery Act.

Establishing an Anti-Bribery Policy

It is important that the severity of bribery is made clear in your anti-bribery policy, with employees made aware that it counts as gross misconduct and is a sackable offence. Information on how to report potential bribery and the company whistle-blowing policy should also be included.

If you believe your business is at risk of bribery, an anti-bribery policy is essential to ensure you are legally protected. Peninsula’s 24 hour employment law helpline can help you decide what needs to go in to this policy. For further advice, you can also take advantage of the online hr tool.

Bribery act guidance from Peninsula

Peninsula can assist with a variety of business issues, including providing employment law advice and bribery act guidance to help protect against any breaches of bribery law. If you need assistance on bribery or any other topic, call Peninsula on 0844 892 2772, or arrange a callback through the website. You can also get in touch via email, by contacting advice@peninsula-uk.com.