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Is the Bribery Act Finally Fit For Purpose?

The Bribery Act 2010, which deals with the procedures that an employer can put in place to prevent bribery, initially received widespread criticism and as a result was delayed before coming into force in July 2011. The Act includes revised guidance by the Ministry of Justice and outlines six key principles for businesses to consider, now including more practical guidance and case studies. The Act states, a commercial organization is guilty if a person “associated” with it pays a bribe to win or retain business for the organization. It also provides that an employer has a defense if it can show that it has in place “adequate procedures” designed to prevent bribery. Employers should ensure that all their policies (such as whistleblowing and harassment policies), as well as internal practices, interact and comply with their anti-bribery and corruption codes. In addition, contracts of employment should contain a specific clause obliging all employees to comply with anti-bribery policies and practices.

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