The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force today, introducing a corporate offence for organisations that fail to prevent bribery by people working on behalf of the business.
Under the Act, employers will be able to defend themselves against the offence if they can show that they had “adequate procedures” in place to prevent bribery by or of people associated with their organisation.
These include measures such as risk assessments and communication to staff of bribery prevention policies and procedures.
The Act also introduces a separate offence for bribing a foreign public official with the intention of obtaining or retaining business or a business advantage.
However, with a recent survey by professional services firm Ernst & Young finding that one employee in seven from large UK companies was prepared to offer cash payments to secure business, organisations will need to make sure they have reviewed their anti-bribery procedures to prevent anyone working for or on behalf of the business offering or accepting a bribe.
XpertHR has a model policy available on the Bribery Act 2010.