I was in a room with 20 different employers this week and asked a simple question….
How many of you have a policy on bribery and have trained your staff in the application of that policy?
Despite the Bribery Act 2010 having come into force in July 2011, 90% of the businesses represented did not have a policy and had not trained their staff in relation to their duties under the Bribery Act. The first case has now been brought under this legislation and a court official was found guilty of being bribed to make a speeding offence disappear.
The previous bribery legislation was mixed and confusing, some of it being over 100 years old.
For those of you who are not clear, bribery is defined as ‘the giving or taking of a reward in return for acting dishonestly and/or in breach of the law’. There are four offences under the Act:
- Bribing another person
- Being bribed
- Bribing a foreign public official
- Failure to prevent bribery
It is the last of these which employers need to be especially wary of. There is an absolute obligation for employers, even those with one employee, to have a policy which ensures that employees know that bribery is not acceptable. There is also an absolute obligation for employers to brief / train their staff in relation to the law, their policy and its application to their business environment.
So what counts as bribery? Is it…..
- Tipping your postman for Christmas deliveries
- Taking clients out for dinner
- Taking potential clients our for an afternoon at Wimbledon
- Sending clothing samples to a fashion reviewer for their children
- Giving a FIFA official an amount of money to secure their vote in deciding the location of the 2022 World Cup? – This news broke the week the legislation came into force!!!
To find out more about The Bribery Act 2010, it’s implications for your business and how to protect your business from prosecution, call us on 01923 866 040 and ask for a no obligation chat or book a discovery call here.