1. What does your policy cover?
1.1 This policy exists to set out the responsibilities of Exact Payroll Ltd in relation to anti-bribery, including those who work for us, extending to those observing and upholding our zero-tolerance position on bribery and corruption.
1.2 This policy provides information and guidance for partners and those who work with and for Exact Payroll Limited. It is here to help them understand and recognise the features in order for them to deal with bribery and corruption instances. It also lays out the responsibilities of our partners, clients and suppliers.
2. Policy statement
2.1 As a company, we are committed to undertaking business activity that is both ethical and honest. As part of this, we are committed to the implementation and enforcement of systems that ensure bribery is identified and prevented. Exact Payroll Limited has zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are invested in acting in a fair and professional manor, ensuring that all of our relationships and business activity is done with the highest integrity, wherever we operate.
2.2 Exact Payroll Limited upholds all laws in all the jurisdictions in which we work relating to anti-bribery and corruption. Our work is also bound by UK law and the Bribery Act 2010, which relates to our work here in the UK and overseas.
2.3 Exact Payroll Limited understands that corrupt activities and bribery are punishable by means of a fine and up to ten years of imprisonment. If Exact Payroll Limited is discovered to have played a part in activity which is deemed corrupt, we may face consequences, which could include being liable to a fine of unlimited value in addition to exclusion from tendering for public contracts. Similarly, we understand it would seriously damage our integrity and reputation.
It is for these reasons, amongst others that we are committed to preventing corruption and bribery through the activities of our business and those who we associate with, taking our legal responsibilities seriously in relation to this matter.
3. Who is covered by the policy?
3.1 This corruption and anti-bribery policy is applicable to a wide audience, including all employees whether fixed term, permanent or temporary. It also extends to contractors, consultants, seconded staff, trainees, those who work from home, agency staff, volunteers, interns, casual workers, sponsors, agents or any other third parties who are associated with the work that we do. This policy also extends to any of our subsidiaries and their employees, whether here in the UK or overseas. Officers, Board, Trustees and/or Committee members at any level are also included.
3.2 For clarification, third-party refers to any organisation or individual that our company meets and subsequently works with. It does apply to potential as well as actual clients, customers, business contacts, suppliers, distributors, agents, advisors, government bodies and public bodies, and in turn their network of representatives, advisors, officials, politicians and public parties.
3.3 When we do make arrangements with third parties, Exact Payroll Limited is subject to transparent contractual terms, ensuring that the third party complies with at least the minimum standards and procedures relating to corruption and anti-bribery as well as specific provisions which must be adhered to.
4. Definition of bribery
4.1 Bribery refers to inducing or influencing an action or decision through the act of soliciting, accepting, receiving, agreeing, asking, promising, giving or offering something of value.
4.2 A bribe refers to any inducement, reward, or object/item of value offered to another individual in order to gain contractual, regulatory, commercial, or personal advantage.
4.3 If an individual is on the receiving end of a bribe and they accept it, they are also breaking the law. Bribery is not limited to the act of offering a bribe.
4.4 Employees must not engage in bribery by any means or in any way, which extends from a direct bribe to a more passive approach described above, or through a distributor, agent or other third party.
Bribery extends internationally, including other public officials. In addition, bribes must not be accepted in any form. If there is uncertainty around the understanding or questioning over a gift, bribe or act of hospitality, further advice must be sought from the compliance officer within Exact Payroll Ltd. Bribery is illegal.
5. What is and what is NOT acceptable
5.1 This section of the policy refers to 4 areas:
- Gifts and hospitality
- Facilitation payments
- Political contributions
- Charitable contributions
5.2 Gifts and hospitality
Exact Payroll Limited accepts normal and appropriate gestures of hospitality and goodwill (whether given to/received from third parties) so long as the giving or receiving of gifts meets the following requirements:
a. It is not made with the intention of influencing the party to whom it is being given, to obtain or reward the retention of a business or a business advantage, or as an explicit or implicit exchange for favours or benefits.
b. It is not made with the suggestion that a return favour is expected.
c. It is in compliance with local law.
d. It is given in the name of the company, not in an individual’s name.
e. It does not include cash or a cash equivalent (e.g. a voucher or gift certificate).
f. It is appropriate for the circumstances (e.g. giving small gifts around Christmas or as a small thank you to a company for helping with a large project upon completion).
g. It is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time, taking into account the reason for the gift.
h. It is given/received openly, not secretly.
i. It is not selectively given to a key, influential person, clearly with the intention
of directly influencing them.
j. It is not above a certain excessive value, as pre-determined by the company’s
compliance manager (usually in excess of £100).
k. It is not offer to, or accepted from, a government official or representative or
politician or political party, without the prior approval of the company’s compliance manager.
5.3 Where it is inappropriate to decline the offer of a gift (i.e. when meeting with an individual of a certain religion/culture who may take offence), the gift may be accepted so long as it is declared to the compliance manager, who will assess the circumstances.
5.4 Exact Payroll Ltd recognises that the practice of giving and receiving business gifts varies between countries, regions, cultures, and religions, so definitions of what is acceptable and not acceptable will inevitably differ for each.
5.5 As good practice, gifts given and received should always be disclosed to the compliance manager. Gifts from suppliers should always be disclosed.
5.6 The intention behind a gift being given/received should always be considered. If there is any uncertainty, the advice of the compliance manager should be sought.
5.7 Facilitation Payments and Kickbacks
Exact Payroll Ltd does not accept and will not make any form of facilitation payments of any nature. We recognise that facilitation payments are a form of bribery
that involves expediting or facilitating the performance of a public official for a routine governmental action. We recognise that they tend to be made by low level officials with the intention of securing or speeding up the performance of a certain duty or action.
5.8 Exact Payroll Ltd does not allow kickbacks to be made or accepted. We recognise that kickbacks are typically made in exchange for a business favour or advantage.
5.9 Exact Payroll Ltd recognises that, despite our strict policy on facilitation payments and kickbacks, employees may face a situation where avoiding a facilitation payment or kickback may put their/their family’s personal security at risk. Under these circumstances, the following steps must be taken:
a. Keep any amount to the minimum.
b. Ask for a receipt, detailing the amount and reason for the payment.
c. Create a record concerning the payment.
d. Report this incident to your line manager.
5.10 Political Contributions
Exact Payroll Ltd will not make donations, whether in cash, kind, or by any other means, to support any political parties or candidates. We recognise this may be perceived as an attempt to gain an improper business advantage.
5.11 Charitable Contributions
Exact Payroll Ltd accepts (and indeed encourages) the act of donating to charities – whether through services, knowledge, time, or direct financial contributions (cash or otherwise) – and agrees to disclose all charitable contributions it makes.
5.12 Employees must be careful to ensure that charitable contributions are not used to facilitate and conceal acts of bribery.
5.13 We will ensure that all charitable donations made are legal and ethical under local laws and practices, and that donations are not offered/made without the approval of the compliance manager.
6. Employee Responsibilities
6.1 All Exact Payroll Ltd's employees must ensure they read, understand and comply with this policy, in addition to any other briefing, training or information provided in relation to anti-bribert and corruption.
6.2 The prevention, reporting and detection of corruption and bribery is the resonsibility of Exact Payroll Limited, our employees and those under our control. Any activities that imply a breach of this policy or could lead to should be avoided.
6.3. A compliance manager should be notified imemdiately if you have suspicions or evidence that corruption or bribery is likely to occur or has occured. If you have information that relates to a breach of this policy, you must provide this information to Exact Payroll Limited's compliance manager.
6.4 Diciplinary action may be taken, in addition to the potential of dismissal for gross misconduct for any employee found to be breaching this policy. A contractual relationship with an employee that breaches this corruption and anti-bribary policy are subjected to Exact Payroll Limited's right to terminate the contractual relationship.
7. What happens if I need to raise a concern?
7.1 This section of the policy covers 3 areas:
a. How to raise a concern.
b. What to do if you are a victim of bribery or corruption.
7.2 How to raise a concern
You should raise concerns at the earliest stage possible if you suspect bribery or corrupt activity with any associated to Exact Payroll Limited. If you require clarification on what constitues bribery or corruption, you should seek the advice from the compliance officer at Exact Payroll Limited.
7.3 As an employee, you will be made aware of how you can report your concerns quickly and confidentially, known as our 'whistleblowing proceedure'.
7.4 What to do if you are a victim of bribery or corruption
If you feel bribed or are asked to be part of one, suspect that you may be exposed to a bribe in the near future or if you have any reason to believe you may become a part of, or vicitim of any other corrupt activity, you must seek advice and report this to the compliance manager at Exact Payroll Limited.
If you refuse to accept or offer a bribe or you report a concern relating to potential act(s) of bribery or corruption, Exact Payroll Ltd understands that you may feel worried about potential repercussions. Exact Payroll Ltd will support anyone who raises concerns in good faith under this policy, even if investigation finds that actions were mis read or mistaken.
7.6 If you refuse to offer or accept a bribe, or refuse to take part in other corrupt activites and instead report this, Exact Payroll Limited will ensure that you do not suffer detreimental treatment as a result.
7.7 Dismissal, threats, diciplinary action or unfavourable treatment to any person who has raised concerns are all considered 'detrimental treatment'.
7.8 You should inform Exact Payroll Limited's compliance manager immediately if you believe you have received unjest treatment as a consequence of raising your concern or refusal to accept a bribe or partake in any other related activity.
8. Training and communication
8.1 Exact Payroll Ltd will provide training on this policy as part of the induction process for all new employees. Employees will also receive regular, relevant training on how to adhere to this policy, and will be asked annually to formally accept that they will comply with this policy.
8.2 Exact Payroll Ltd’s anti-bribery and corruption policy and zero-tolerance attitude will be clearly communicated to all suppliers, contractors, business partners, and any third-parties at the outset of business relations, and as appropriate thereafter.
8.3 Exact Payroll Ltd will provide relevant anti-bribery and corruption training to employees etc. where we feel their knowledge of how to comply with the Bribery Act needs to be enhanced. As good practice, all businesses should provide their employees with anti-bribery training where there is a potential risk of facing bribery or corruption during work activities.
9. Record keeping
9.1 Appropriate internal controls are in place to record payments that are made. We will keep financial records that are detailed and accurate. Hospitality gifts that are exchanged will be declared and recorded in writing, including amount and reason for the gift. The exchange of such gifts can be reviewed by management at any given time.
10. Monitoring and reviewing
10.1 This policy, its effectiveness and its implementation will be reviewed on a regular basis. The review will highlight its adequacy and suitability.
10.2 Regular audits will be carried out to ensure internal control systems and proceesdures designed to detect, report and prevent bribery and corruption are effective in practice.
10.3 Exact Payroll Limited will actively seek feedback from employees as part of Exact Payroll's commitment to continual improvement. The compliance officer is the appointed contact for feedback.
10.4 Exact Payroll Ltd may amend this policy at any time, to improve its effectiveness at combatting corruption and bribery. This policy does not form part of an employee’s contract of employment.