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Since the introduction of the UK Bribery Act 2010, it is easy to see why some companies and individuals might be nervous to provide hospitality to customers and clients.
While it appears that the Act could cover all entertainment and gifts, legislation is concerned with the intention of swaying or rewarding decisions and decision-makers for business gain and providing hospitality and offerings disproportionate to the industry or business relationship.
In fact, Government guidance documents actively encourage the nurturing of business relationships through hospitality.
Hospitality, gifts and expenses are acceptable “as a reflection of your good relations” or “in order to demonstrate your goods or services to clients if that is reasonable and proportionate for your business”. Read more
As a brief guide, here are a few highlights from the Act that you should know:
• A company must demonstrate it has adequate policies and procedures in place to prevent bribery
• Companies can be liable for bribery that takes place by its subsidiaries, contractors or employees in another country
• Hospitality and gifts must not be disproportionate to what is standard in the industry
• They must also not be given with intention to sway decision makers or reward decisions already made
• The Act prohibits a person agreeing to accept a bribe as well as offering and actually accepting one
Companies that are investigated and ultimately prosecuted for bribery are few and far between. The big news stories of those found guilty of breaching bribery legislation, such as Sweett Group, demonstrate huge breaches of the law, and are not for genuine client hospitality.
It is estimated that it costs over five times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones and 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service and a breakdown in communications.
Hospitality helps to cement business connections, gives you the opportunity to gain valuable feedback and find out future business requirements. It is also a great thank you to staff for all their hard work.
Stand out from the crowd! For companies looking for hospitality with a difference, consider an event at Arena Pursuits. From 10 miles of quad tracks, fast Honda Pilots, clay pigeon shooting and team tasks to country pursuits, Bushcraft and 00.7 Bond Days, we can provide a unique event. With great on-site facilities, several catering options and glamping also available, why not find out more about Arena Pursuits at http://www.arenapursuits.com/corporate-events/
Kennedys Law: http://www.kennedyslaw.com/article/briberyactsummary/
Friday, October 21, 2016