Question of the Month: Christmas Gifts
What happens if staff receive Christmas gifts from clients who they are working with?
Generally gifts of any type from a client are not acceptable and employees should inform their Manager immediately. We would advise that you refer to any policies in place regarding accepting gifts from clients. The final decision on gifts, rewards and hospitality generally lies with the appropriate CEO / Director / Senior Manager, but the general rule is – if in doubt, don’t accept.
ACAS states that it’s an offence (under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916), for civil servants to accept a gift as a reward, either for doing or not doing something in their official capacity or for showing advantage, which is widely defined in the Act. The burden of proof rests on the person receiving favours.
If an employee does accept a gift and they know that they shouldn’t be doing it, they should be invited to a meeting of concern to discuss it.