October 1, 2018

Bribery can be defined as ‘the giving or offering of a bribe’. This type of bribery, otherwise known as active bribery, describes one directional bribery. Although it may not refer directly to the passive ‘request’ of a bribe from the receiving party, passive bribery can also be deduced from this definition; it is the request, agreeing to receive or acceptance of a bribe.

The motives behind bribery in a workplace or business environment are usually to gain benefits for personal or business advantage. 2010 saw a turning point for gaining an unfair advantage, and The Bribery Act was formally introduced nationally to combat active or passive bribery, both defined as separate offences. A maximum of 7 - 10 years imprisonment can be enforced for bribery.

What Do Organisations Need To Do To Comply?

With bribery officially unlawful, businesses and organisations up and down the country, are required to have an anti-bribery policy in place, driving the necessary controls forward, while educating staff that bribery is against the law. There are no one size fits all; policies should be tailored accordingly to the level of risk each organisation or business faces.

Top level commitment is required by senior members of the organisation or business to enforce anti-bribery policies and ensure filtration down through the organisation. The policy should be shared with new employees in their formal employee handbook and be accessible on the workplace intranet if there is one.

The key to maintaining an anti-bribery workplace is raising regular awareness with staff via appropriate communication methods, specifically via the line managers’ weekly team meetings. By embedding this way of work into employees, the workplace promotes equality for all individuals, with the absence of corrupt behaviour.

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About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.