How to prevent bribery from affecting your workplace

Bribery risks

As an employer, you may find that an employee of yours has been offered gifts or hospitality from a third party which is linked to the employee’s work with your organisation. There is a risk that such offers are sometimes made to induce your employees to provide that third party with a commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage in its dealings with you and/or your organisation. It is also possible that one of your employees will offer gifts or hospitality to a third party for the same purpose without your knowledge.

Criminal offence

If your employees either offer or accept gifts (or offers of hospitality) to or from existing or potential customers, clients, suppliers, distributors or contractors, they may have committed an act of bribery, which is a criminal offence. To protect your business and your employees, it is essential to adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards activities that may lead to corruption of any kind.

Anti-bribery policy

The best way to tackle the risk is to put a policy in place that prohibits employees from offering, giving, requesting or accepting any gift, loan, payment, reward or advantage to or from any person or company in order to gain commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage, or in order to gain any personal advantage for an individual in a way that is unethical.

What is permitted?

Exceptions can be made for gifts and hospitality which are a proportionate reflection of friendship or appreciation strictly where nothing is expected in return, and where the gift is properly recorded. An example would be a gift at Christmas from a longstanding business relationship.

Keep a register

No gift or offer of hospitality, no matter how small, should be accepted or offered by any employees without the express written consent of their manager. A register should be maintained which records all gifts or offers of hospitality which are offered or received. A senior manager ought to have responsibility for maintaining this register.

Share the wealth

Any gifts received by one your employees should be brought to the senior manager, and, if deemed to be appropriate, shared amongst your staff.

Put a policy in place

To ensure your employees are fully appraised of your rules regarding the offer and acceptance of gifts or hospitality, it is vital to have an anti-bribery policy in place.

Call the advice line today on +353 1 886 0350 to speak with a consultant regarding this or any other HR issue affecting your organisation.

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