Establishing an anti-bribery and corruption policy is one of the major ways you can prevent it from arising in your business.
It is essential to protect your business from this, as the government can give unlimited fines towards bribery and corruption.
This coupled with lost revenue from a damaged reputation and demoralised workforce can ruin a company.
Let’s look at what you need to create a policy which can protect you and your business from bribery and corruption law fines.
What is an anti-corruption policy?
As corruption is a broad term, it is when a business implements a policy which outlines how they will run in an honest and ethical manner.
The policy will outline how employees of the business must act. It is in a professional, fair and with integrity in all business dealings and relationships
As bribery is one of the ore common anti-corruption actions, it usually mostly tackles issues regarding this.
What is an anti-bribery policy?
An anti-bribery policy sets out rules and regulations for how your employees can handle potential bribes. Having adequate procedure lessens any risks corruption carries on a business.
The policy should comply with the Anti-Bribery act of 2010 and its legislation. The act came into force on 1st July 2011 and covers the criminal law relating to bribery.
It lays out the legal definition of bribery, which is is the offering or accepting of any gift, loan, payment, reward or a business advantage for personal gain as an encouragement to do something which is dishonest, illegal or a breach of trust.
Providing a policy for everyone in the company to follow helps prevent an individual from spoiling a company’s reputation. They also prevent any moral or ethical issues from becoming matters for the court to get involved with.
Failure to prevent bribery in the workplace will lead to fines from the government.
Now you know why a policy is so important, you need to know what to include in an anti-bribery and corruption policy to ensure compliance.
Establishing an Anti-Bribery Policy
It is important that you make the severity of bribery ramifications clear in your anti-bribery policy. Employees must know that it counts as gross misconduct and is a sackable offence.
Your anti-bribery policy should be appropriate to the level of risk your business faces. It should also apply strictly to all employees, partners, agents, consultants, contractors and any other people or bodies associated with the organisation.
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 into this policy.
What to include in an anti-bribery and corruption policy
First, a policy should show the negative effects of corruption in business. Second, it should help employees on how to identify corruption.
One vital point for policies is to include the severity of accepting or offering a bribe. It should be clear that accepting bribes counts as gross misconduct and is a sackable offence.
In certain cases, offences can lead to heavy fines or jail time, under the UK bribery act.
Other important information in a bribery prevention policy is how to report potential bribes. This should include your company's whistle-blowing policy.
You should ensure that there is no risk to the employee in the event of reporting any cases in your company.
Try to establish anti-bribery and corruption due diligence. This can help instil anti-bribery procedures and help to protect your company.
Bribery and corruption policy template
Your company’s policy should include evidence that it understands anti-bribery law. It should also clarify and enforce the understanding that your company has a zero-tolerance for bribes.
An anti-bribery template should also detail who the policy applies to, showing that no one within the company is exempt. This will include guidance on how all employees can prevent corruption, regardless of their position.
Other important things to feature in your template include:
- The difference between gifts and bribes with examples.
- Understanding types of corruption in business.
- Rules involved with avoiding or stopping conflicts of interest.
- Risks in failing to prevent corruption.
- Methods to regularly monitor and review your policy.
- Your approach to reducing and controlling the risks of bribery.
- Rules about agreeing to receive gifts, hospitality or donations.
- Guidance on how to conduct your business.
- Rules on avoiding or stopping conflicts of interest.
A company’s policy should outline how to properly conduct business. This can include how to handle contracts and how to interpret any offered hospitality.
Knowing how to tackle corruption at every level of your company can be invaluable. It can prevent audits and fines.
The UK Bribery Act 2010 addresses the anti-corruption legislation in detail.
Need our help?
Peninsula’s 24/7 employee law hotline can provide help with questions about these policies. This includes simple anti-bribery policy templates and workplace corruption policies with contracts & documentation services.