Language Empire (LE) is committed to the practice of responsible corporate behaviour and as such, is also committed to carrying out its business openly, fairly and honestly. We therefore maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery, corruption and anti-competitive practices.
Under the Bribery Act 2010, a bribe is a ‘financial or other advantage’ offered, promised or given to induce a person to perform a relevant function or activity improperly, or to reward them for doing so.
The Act makes it a criminal offence to:
- offer, promise or give a bribe
- request, agree to receive or accept a bribe
- bribe a foreign public official to obtain or retain business or a business advantage
- (by an organisation) fail to prevent bribery by those acting on its behalf (‘associated persons’) to obtain or retain business or a business advantage for the organisation.
Under the Bribery Act, individuals can be prosecuted for accepting bribes or offering bribes. In addition, LE can be prosecuted for failing to prevent bribery committed to obtain or retain business or a business advantage for the LE by an employee or other individual or organisation (including employees, representatives, agents or third parties engaged by the LE
Small payments made to government officials or others to make something happen, or happen sooner, (commonly called facilitation payments) are likely to be bribes and unlawful under the Act.
We recognise that trust and confidence in the propriety of our activities is essential to our continuing success and growth, and in order to foster the trust and confidence that clients, suppliers, workers and the community in general have in LE, it is important that LE, our employees and officers behave, and are seen to behave, appropriately and honestly at all times.
This Policy aims to:
Protect the reputation of LE;
Protect employees and officers of LE from accusations of impropriety;
Ensure that all clients and suppliers are dealt with on an equal basis;
Avoid any potential conflicts between employees’ and officers’ private interests and professional duties;
Instil a strong anti-corruption culture in LE and put in place a monitoring process to further compliance with the Bribery Act 2010.
Employees and officers are advised that, notwithstanding anything contained herein, where there is any doubt over the permissibility or propriety of accepting a gift, financial or hospitality offer they should decline that offer. Nothing should be accepted which would bring LE into disrepute.
This policy applies to:
LE and to any associated persons as defined by the Bribery Act 2010, including (but not limited to) contractors, volunteers and director and employees of the company and of the closed final salary pension and life assurance schemes.
Certain contractors whenever they have contact with an individual or organisation outside of LE for LE business purposes, prospective and existing suppliers of LE , public bodies with whom LE has a non-commercial relationship.
For the purposes of this policy, the term ‘employees and officers’ shall be taken to include anyone associated with LE in any capacity stated above. This policy is non-exhaustive and all aspects of LE ‘s business should be considered within its spirit.
LE staff are required to report internally amongst other things:
Any financial interest that they have or an associate of theirs has in an external person relationship. The term, ‘associate’ could include spouses, partners or extended family members.
The offer and receipt of all forms of business related gift and hospitality with limited exceptions.
The rejection of the offer of any business-related gift and hospitality
Any form of improper behaviour by an external person or a work colleague.
The offer and receipt of certain types of business related gift and hospitality are prohibited to LE employees or discouraged. These include personal payments that do not form part of legitimate business hospitality, gifts that are more than mere tokens, gifts and hospitality to family members, and all forms of gifts and hospitality that are offered during the process of bidding or tendering for contracts.
Any external contractor who disregards these requirements or otherwise acts improperly may find their relationship with LE curtailed either at an individual or corporate level. Further action may be taken depending on the gravity of the situation.
Receiving Personal Gifts
Save for gifts of low value (under £15.00), employees and officers of LE are not permitted to accept any gifts from customers, suppliers or other third parties involved with LE. Gifts of cash should not be accepted under any circumstances.
Third parties wishing to make donations must have it made clear that such donations will be paid directly to the Finance Director’s office to enable them to be allocated to the appropriate cost centre. All such donations must be acknowledged by a written receipt, with the sum identified, to the donor.
LE recognises that there may be exceptional instances when refusing a gift will cause significant offence or embarrassment. In such instances the gift may be accepted and subsequently donated to LE (by following the procedure outlined in 4.2).
3. Corporate Hospitality
“Corporate Hospitality”, for the purposes of this policy, is any form of accommodation, entertainment or other hospitality provided for an employee or officer of LE by a third party and which is extended to the employee or officer solely or significantly due to his position as a representative of LE . This excludes the classes of hospitality identified in paragraph 3.2 below.
For the purposes of this policy and for the sake of clarity, the following are not normally considered Corporate Hospitality and will not require any approval prior to acceptance:
Normal working lunches or refreshments provided during a business visit;
Hospitality extended to employees and officers attending a LE approved seminar, conference or other external event, provided that such hospitality is extended to all who are in attendance;
Free seminars, talks or workshops, provided that they are free to all in attendance and are not provided solely for employees and officers of LE.
Hospitality and Gifts Register
The Register shall be held by the Finance Director/Company Secretary (“the Registrar”).
All offers of gifts and hospitality must be recorded in writing, including all of the information specified in this policy and must be signed and dated by the employee or officer and the relevant manager before being given to the Registrar, who shall update the Register accordingly. See section 4.5 below on how to complete the register.
The written record must be completed as soon as is reasonably practicable, and be filed with the Registrar within 5 working days of the offer of the gift or hospitality.
It is anticipated that instances may arise where a gift accepted by LE or one of its employees or officers has not been donated by the time that the relevant entry is made on the Register. In such cases the Register must be updated within 10 working days of the date on which the donation was made.
All employees and officers are required to obtain approval before accepting any form of gift or corporate hospitality which is offered to them. Approval must be sought from their Head of Department or, where the value of the gift or corporate hospitality is likely to be over £15, from their Director.
An accurate record must be kept of all gifts and corporate hospitality offered to LE or to employees and officers of LE for entry on the Register. Any employee or officer offered any gift or corporate hospitality must record, as soon as is reasonable practicable:
A description of the gift or hospitality offered;
An estimation of the likely value of the gift or hospitality;
Whether it was rejected or accepted;
If accepted, why it was accepted; and
From whom prior approval was obtained.
Code of Business Conduct
In line with this policy, LE’s Code of Business Conduct outlines our commitment to compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 to those external organisations and individuals with whom LE conducts business dealings. The aim of this Code is to prevent bribery, corruption and anti-competitive practices.
As part of our commitment to compliance with the Bribery Act 2010, LE undertakes to examine terms with all new providers and suppliers to find out whether they offer appropriate protection against bribery, corruption and anti-competitive practices.
It is possible we may seek revisions to the terms of the agreement with our existing providers and suppliers at a later date to ensure we have such protection.
Breach of this Policy
Compliance with this policy is essential to the protection of LE ‘s reputation and that of its employees and officers.
Any employee or officer who is found to have acted in contravention of this policy or its principles may be subject to disciplinary action, including summary dismissal where the breach amounts to gross misconduct
It is the responsibility of all LE staff to ensure that bribery is prevented, detected and reported and all such reports should be made in accordance with LE’s Whistle blowing Policy
Any employee or officer found giving or receiving bribes or bribing someone will face criminal charges under the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010. Anyone found guilty of bribery, will be responsible for bearing any related remedial costs such as losses, court fees or expenses.
Status of this Policy
This policy is not part of your contract of employment and does not create contractual rights or obligations. We may amend it at any time.
The Law relating to this Document
The Bribery Act 2010.