The Bribery Act has been in force for some time now yet much confusion still abounds about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to corporate gifts. The intention of the Act is to prevent Bribery from occurring in functions of a business, trade or profession, or functions of a public nature and is concerned with financial or other advantages inducing a person to perform improperly. There are offences defined within the Act relating to offering a bribe, receiving a bribe, and failing to prevent bribery.
The key words there are PERFORM IMPROPERLY – so if you or your staff get sent a bottle of wine as a thanks from a happy customer, or you want to send boxes of chocolates to us…or any of your other suppliers of course, or take your clients out for a festive lunch then you are unlikely to fall foul of the Bribery Act.
It is of course still wise to consider having appropriate policies and procedures in place to monitor the giving and receiving of corporate gifts.