The Bribery Act comes into force on 1st July 2011, and will affect employment law. In this guide, Peninsula explains what employers need to know and how the Act can be used in their defence.
The Bribery Act is now set to be implemented on 1st July 2011, and Government guidance for employers has just been published. Here, Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula Business Services explains the Act and its consequences.
Bribery itself has long been a criminal offence, and that hasn't changed. However, it will soon have a bearing on employment law. Under the Bribery Act, it will also be an offence for employers to fail to prevent bribery. This means that any business needs to be able to prove that they had adequate preventative measure in place, if someone associated with or working on behalf of the organisation is convicted of bribery.
To assist employers in what seems to be a difficult task, the Government has recently published some guiding principles that prove the employer is blameless. These can be used as a defence should a bribery charge be brought against your company.
Firstly, it's important to remember some businesses are more at risk of bribery than others; therefore, companies should carry out a risk assessment at regular intervals. Further actions should be proportional to the amount of risk. Secondly, those at the top level of the company should demonstrate a no-tolerance stance on bribery and corruption, and ensure that this is communicated throughout the organisation. Finally, companies should constantly strive to make improvements and be vigilant where necessary.
For further information on the Bribery Act, or any other employment law or health & safety matter, please call our specialist advisors free on 0800 328 9348 and they will be happy to help. Peninsula clients can also find out more through the 24 hour employer legal advice line on 0844 892 2772.
If you are a member of the media and need any further assistance, would like to discuss case studies for a particular feature, or be added to our media contact list, feel free to contact Sammual-James McLoughlin, head of media, press and public relations at Peninsula, on 0161 827 8511 or [email protected]