Bribery Act 2010: essentials for employment lawyers
Bribery Act 2010: essentials for employment lawyers

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Bribery Act 2010: essentials for employment lawyers
  • Offences under the Bribery Act 2010
  • Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery
  • Penalties
  • The 'adequate procedures' defence and MoJ guidance
  • Using anti-bribery and corruption statements and policies
  • Whistleblowing policies
  • Gifts and hospitality policies
  • Other employment issues

The Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) has been in force since 1 July 2011. It applies to any business that is incorporated or trades in the UK. It covers bribery committed by the organisation, or on its behalf, anywhere in the world.

This Practice Note examines the implications of the BA 2010 in the context of employment law and practice.

A bribe

A bribe is defined as:

  1. a 'financial or other advantage' offered, promised, requested or given

  2. to induce a person to perform a relevant function or activity improperly, or to reward them for doing so

'Financial or other advantage' is not defined, but is likely to include cash or cash equivalent, gifts, hospitality and entertainment, preferential treatment in a tendering process, etc. The timing of the bribe is irrelevant and payments made after the relevant event will still be caught, as will bribes that are given or received unknowingly. It is not necessary for the individual or organisation actually to receive any benefit as a result of the bribe for liability to arise.

Offences under the Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010 sets out four offences:

  1. bribing another person (also known as active bribery)

  2. soliciting or accepting a bribe (also known as passive bribery)

  3. bribing a foreign public official, and

  4. failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery by an 'associated