Bribery Act

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This Act particularly affects anyone working in marketing, corporate hospitality and any senior officer in a company, and I would suggest that self-employed people may well need to keep in mind the provisions of the Bribery Act too.

The Guidance states that: 

“Bona fide hospitality and promotional, or other business expenditure which seeks to improve the image of a commercial organisation, better to present products and services, or establish cordial relations, is recognised as an established and important part of doing business and it is not the intention of the Act to criminalise such behaviour. The Government does not intend for the Act to prohibit reasonable and proportionate hospitality and promotional or other similar business expenditure intended for these purposes.” 

Nevertheless, the Guidance acknowledges that hospitality and other promotional activities can be used a bribe. The Guidance advises that organisations may wish to review policies on corporate hospitality and promotional activities to ensure that they are seen to be acting both “competitively” and “ fairly”. The Guidance recognises that different businesses will have different standards and leaves it to individual businesses/companies or their professional bodies to determine what those standards are. The Guidance does however warn that even if the corporate hospitality/promotional activity is in accordance with industry standards that in itself would not be sufficient evidence on its own that bribery had not occurred, particularly if those standards are “extravagant”.

The Ministry of Justice’s Guidance can be found here: 

Lauren Haas

Solicitor - Claims Abroad team

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