Anti-Bribery Corporate Hospitality Policy

Anti-Bribery & Corruption Hospitality Policy

Introduction

Bribery and corruption is, unfortunately, a feature of corporate and public life in many countries across the world.  It is widely accepted that corruption inhibits economic growth, damages businesses both financially and reputationally and may result in criminal or civil liability and penalties for organisations and individuals.

Maintel does not tolerate any form of bribery or corruption and is committed to operating responsibly and engaging with its stakeholders to manage the social, environmental and ethical impact of its activities in the different markets in which it operates. 

Maintel has a clear policy and supports our employees to make decisions in line with our stated position

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the responsibilities of Group functions and business units in observing and upholding its position on bribery, corruption, gifts and hospitality.

Scope                                                                              

This policy applies to all employees (permanent and temporary), agents, subsidiaries, intermediaries and suppliers of the Group.

Anti-bribery and Anti-corruption Policy

1)     Maintel does not engage in bribery or in any form of unethical inducement or payment including facilitation payments and ‘kickbacks’. 

2)     We do not make direct or indirect political contributions.

3)     The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1st July 2011 and the penalties for being in breach of this act can be severe.  Both a company and its directors can be subject to criminal penalties of unlimited fines or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both, and businesses that have been convicted of bribery or corruption could find themselves permanently debarred from tendering for public-sector contracts. Additionally if any individual employee breaches the Act they too can be personally subject to criminal proceedings and penalties including imprisonment.

4)     Bribes can take many different forms and could be:

-  A direct or indirect promise, offering or authorising anything of value;

- An offer or receipt of any kickback, loan, fee, reward or other advantage;

- The giving of aid, donations or voting designed to exert improper influence.

That said, this policy is not meant to prohibit the following practices provided they are customary within our market sector, are appropriate and are disclosed to your line manager:

- The giving of a ceremonial gift on a festival or at another special time

- Normal and appropriate corporate hospitality (see below).

Gifts and Corporate Hospitality  

Gifts, such as cash, presents, charitable donations and hospitality such as meals, hotels, invitations to arts and sporting events, can be used as bribes. The intention and timing that accompanies any gift or hospitality is critical in determining how it is viewed.

Maintel recognises that reasonable and proportionate corporate hospitality is part of building normal business relationships but they will be bribes when they are given or received with the intention of influencing business decisions.

So what constitutes “reasonable”? – begin by asking yourself the following questions:

 - What is the intent? Is it to build a relationship or is it something else?

 - How would this look if these details were on the front of a newspaper?

- What if the situation were to be reversed? Would there be double standards?

If you find it difficult to answer any of these questions then there may be a risk that the contemplated action could be unlawful.  Inevitably, decisions as to what is acceptable may not always be easy or apparent and if anyone is in any doubt as to whether a potential act constitutes bribery, the matter should be referred to the Head of Legal before proceeding.

Circumstances which are NEVER permissible include:

 - A quid pro quo – where you are offered something for something else in return

 - Gifts in the form of cash or cash equivalent vouchers

- Entertainment of a sexual or similarly inappropriate nature. 

Circumstances which are usually permissible include:

- Business to business commission in the normal course of events

 - Modest/occasional meals with someone with whom we do business

 - Occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events

 - Gifts of nominal value, such as pens or small promotional items.

Responsibilities

All employees, agents, subsidiaries, intermediaries and suppliers are required to assess the risks involved with their activities and be diligent in avoiding any activities that might lead to, or suggest, a conflict of interest with the business of Maintel.

Any hospitality offered valued at more than £100 per head or individual gift given valued at more than £100 must be approved by a Board Director.

All employees must declare in the Maintel Register any hospitality given valued at more than £100 or individual gift given valued at more than £100. All hospitality and gifts received valued at more than £100 must be declared in the Maintel Register. This register will be subject to regular audit at Board level.

The Maintel Register will be maintained by Maria Maguire and Elize Lomas, therefore all details must be sent to antibribery@maintel.co.uk immediately on receipt/provision to enter into the Register.

Employees and employees’ families should refuse to accept gifts or hospitality which could influence or appear to influence decisions they make on behalf of Maintel.

The acceptance and/or offer of small gifts such as chocolates and flowers, and/or casual hospitality such as business lunches, is acceptable within reasonable bounds, as long as it is a reasonable and proportionate expression of business courtesy.

The Chief Executive Officer has primary responsibility for implementing this policy.

The Operational Board and Directors will establish appropriate responsibilities and ensure this policy is adhered to in their business unit.

If any instance of non-compliance with the stated Maintel policy is identified, Maintel will take immediate remedial steps including disciplinary action which may lead to dismissal.

 The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery or corruption is the responsibility of all employees across the whole company. It is your duty to report any suspicion of bribery, either within Maintel or in our business partners, suppliers, customers or competitors, confidentially to the HR Director.

 No-one who, in good faith, raises a concern under this policy or asks for advice shall suffer retaliation, harassment, or any adverse employment consequence as a result. Maintel takes all claims of retaliation very seriously and any allegations of retaliation will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken. Any employee who is found to have retaliated against another will be

Communications

This policy and relevant guidance will be communicated to all Maintel employees and incorporated in the Company Handbook to ensure that they understand how to implement this policy in the scope of their employment.

This policy will be communicated to Maintel suppliers, contractors, business partners and wider stakeholder as necessary

Raising concerns and seeking guidance

If you have knowledge of a potential, suspected or actual violation of this policy you are encouraged to raise concerns at the earliest possible stage through your line manager or the HR department. Where a satisfactory resolution is not achieved you should refer to the HR Director for further guidance.

If you are contacted by anyone investigating a reported incident under this policy you must always provide truthful and accurate information and you must never alter or destroy documents or evidence in order to avoid or hamper any investigation.

Monitoring and review

Successful implementation of this policy requires adoption at all levels across the organisation and adherence to this policy is a condition of employment. Failure to comply with any aspect of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal (corresponding to the gravity and seriousness of the offence) and where breaches of the law take place, may lead to criminal proceedings against the individual or individuals concerned.

The HR department will periodically review the implementation of this policy in respect of its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness and make improvements as appropriate.