The UK Bribery Act is one of the most stringent anti-bribery acts in the world. It was brought into force by the Companies Act 2021, which aims to protect consumers from ‘unlawful’ conduct on the conduct of business and the facilitation of trade. Bribery is defined as the giving or receiving of a payment or benefit for doing or having something done and includes but is not limited to, any act by a public official or employee. There are certain activities that are not covered by the Bribery Act. For example, the acceptance of paid for goods or services, whether by a business or an individual, or the giving of an allowance, tip or payment.
Knowing what the Bribery Act is and how it can occur in your organisation can be beneficial. If you’re not sure what Bribery is, then you can contact the Attorney General’s Office who will be able to give you more information about the Bribery Act and its importance to you and your business. They will also be able to provide you with advice on whether or not you need to protect yourself from Bribery. Bribery encompasses many different activities and there are numerous factors that can affect a company or an individual’s potential exposure to bribery. The Bribery Act is there to cover and protect the interests of consumers, business people and employees in England and Wales.
As with any other area of legislation and learning outcomes, there are some facts and myths surrounding the Bribery Act and its importance to employees and consumers. One of the more common myths surrounding the Bribery Act is that it is primarily a drug detection and prevention measure, which are not necessarily true. While it does incorporate provisions which focus on drug testing, as part of its work, the Act also takes measures to prevent bribery at work and in the voluntary sectors. By learning about the Bribery Act awareness and implementing it in your company, you can set yourself apart from other businesses and ensure that your employees, customers and colleagues do not become victims of Bribery.
Another myth surrounding Bribery awareness is that its enforcement is weak and ineffective. This is untrue, as the Bribery Act covers a range of different activities and it has helped to strengthen many areas of British law. It is an important part of our culture and it is necessary to have certain levels of awareness about Bribery. There are many Bribery awareness and communication strategies which can be implemented, including awareness campaigns, seminars and publications. There are also whistle-blowing tactics, such as ones used by Google and others, which can help to bring large-scale corruption to light and highlight the need for strong Bribery laws within UK society. By knowing the basics about Bribery and its various consequences, you can protect yourself, your business and your employees from the negative consequences of corruption in all its forms.
Bribery awareness helps businesses avoid situations where corrupt suppliers may benefit financially from a transaction. Bribery awareness helps to put businesses back in the right mindset to work with suppliers and co-operate, rather than compete against them. It is important for companies to have a well-developed anti-bribery policy, as well as a strong Bribery Act. By educating yourself and your staff, you can ensure that your company is well-prepared to deal with any corrupt situation which may arise in the course of normal business transactions. The anti-bribery policy needs to be developed according to the specific needs of your business, and the specific risk factors that may be associated with it.
Bribery awareness is necessary for business, not just because the law exists to protect consumers, but also because business needs to work closely with suppliers and co-operating with them to protect the integrity of the supply chain, which in turn benefits all parties. Companies should understand the risk factors associated with Bribery and implement anti-bribery compliance processes. The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Law Society are there to guide businesses through the process of incorporating anti-bribery practices into their business plans and systems. Business must understand that due diligence is an essential component to developing an effective anti-bribery policy, and the Bribery Act is a great resource for learning more about due diligence practices.