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Topic: Personnel management

letter to employee who accepts a gift-hospitality without approval
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Letter to employee who accepts a gift-hospitality without approval

 

Letter to employee who accepts a gift/hospitality without approval

The Bribery Act 2010 is a serious piece of legislation; there can be consequences for those employers who breach it. To stay on the right side of the law, you should prohibit staff from accepting corporate gifts or hospitality without your permission and come down hard on those who do. Our letter makes your position clear.

Criminal offence 

Under the Bribery Act 2010 it is a criminal offence for any employee to "request, agree to receive or accept a bribe". Whilst you would never knowingly allow this, the danger is that a majority of corporate gifts and/or invitations of hospitality offered by third parties, i.e. business contacts, clients or customers, can easily fall into this category. But it won't just be employees who the authorities come down hard on; employers who fail to prevent bribery from occurring will also commit a crime. So this is a very serious issue.  

It will take some time until we can see how the legislation is enforced, i.e. what type of gifts/hospitality are scrutinised. In the meantime, it's vital that you put in place "adequate procedures" to prevent bribery from occurring; this will help to protect your position in the event you, or one of your employees, are accused of bribery.

 

Not without permission  

If you don't have one already, introduce a robust anti-bribery policy which states that an employee must always seek your prior written permission before accepting any gift or corporate hospitality from a third party which your company does business with. Any failure to do so (or suspicion that this direction has been ignored) can be treated seriously. It goes without saying that it should be thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action brought if your permission has not been sought.

Our Letter to Employee Who Accepts a Gift/Hospitality Without Approval can then be used to set out your understanding of the situation, i.e. that a disciplinary offence has been committed and the circumstances surrounding it. It then sets a date and time for an investigatory meeting.

Note. In the event you need to send this letter, follow your disciplinary procedures in the normal way but remember that an employee does not, generally, have the right to be accompanied by a workplace companion at the investigatory meeting stage.

 

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