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to keep the sweetener a company gave me at work?

(47 Posts)
ecuasotamot Mon 08-Aug-11 16:03:11

I was recently reviewing one of our suppliers, and completed a tender exercise to evaluate the various offerings from competitors. I spoke to companies X, Y, and Z, obtained costings and had demo sessions.

As a result, I have started a contract with company X. But company Y has since sent me a gift, that they were offering to everyone who tried our their service.

It is a voucher gift, and for less than £50 and I received it after deciding not to go with that company, and informing them of this.

So, do I use the voucher to treat myself? Do I treat the team I line manage? Or do I pass it up the line to contribute to the whole department?

What are the norms for this sort of thing? Any ideas?

Paschaelina Mon 08-Aug-11 16:05:40

Mmm, assuming your company are ok about it I would be inclined to treat your team. What is the voucher for?

AnnoyingOrange Mon 08-Aug-11 16:06:24

does your employer not have a policy re such gifts?

porcamiseria Mon 08-Aug-11 16:13:44

keep it, I am immoral, but check the bribes policy first!

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Aug-11 16:19:29

If you've got a gift for giving out a contract then declare it to your employer and ask how best to use it. When I was a buyer the rule was that we could only accept extremely small items such as a biro with the company's name on it - everything else had to be returned or it could be interpreted as bribery.

ecuasotamot Mon 08-Aug-11 16:26:22

The thing is, the voucher is given to everyone who tries out the service.

I gave the contract to a different supplier (not the one offering the gift) and the gift was received after I had informed the company offering it that I would not be using them. I think it came through an automated system.

It's an Amazon voucher and without thinking I typed the code into my account to see if it was genuine (thought it was a hoax) and it credited it immediately. So I don't think I can reverse it. However, I could ask my boss what to do with it. I wouldn't have hesitated to ask if I actually liked her, but she's currently making everyone's lives hell. sad

Anyway, I am off to check out if there are any company procedures.

Paschaelina Mon 08-Aug-11 16:29:33

Perhaps wait a little and see if anyone else knows of the existence of it? Give it a month or two and if nothing comes back to you then spend it and deny all knowledge. grin

BeattieBow Mon 08-Aug-11 16:31:14

I've just written a new bribery policy for our company and I wouldn't allow this gift under it. Sorry!

In my company you would have to politely decline it.

Catslikehats Mon 08-Aug-11 16:32:08

There will almost certainly be a policy regarding this. If there is not then the most appropriate way to deal with it would be to purchase something that all your team can benefit from.

BeattieBow Mon 08-Aug-11 16:32:12

there is a new bribery act and all companies now have to be stricter.

TotemPole Mon 08-Aug-11 16:33:31

You'll have to buy something shareable with it, such as biscuits or chocolates.

ecuasotamot Mon 08-Aug-11 16:34:23

so what do you do if someone had accidentally accepted it beattie? (I mean that genuinely. I thought I would have to click some sort of "go ahead and redeem it" button after entering the code)

The new Bribery Act has just come into force - I'm surprised that if you're involved in tendering and purchasing that your HR dept hasn't written a policy and made you all read and sign it (supposing your company's big enough that is)
£50 would be classed as a sizeable gift in my company and we would refuse it.

twoistwiceasfun Mon 08-Aug-11 16:38:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ecuasotamot Mon 08-Aug-11 16:43:22

Ok, thanks. what you are saying is helping me set it straight. I have asked Amazon if it is possible to undo the voucher redemption as I think I would feel happier about it if it just was not there at all.

ZillionChocolate Mon 08-Aug-11 16:45:38

I don't think this qualifies as a bribe pursuant to the bribery act. I do think it would be immoral and potentially dishonest to keep the voucher for yourself unless you 1. notify your manager and 2. they say that you can. We sacked someone a few years ago for (amongst other things) getting a Wii out of a photocopier contract.

In my company we are not allowed to keep any cash or cash equivalents (e.g. vouchers no matter what the value) and all gifts have to be declared and below a certain threshold value.

spookshowangel Mon 08-Aug-11 17:07:43

when i worked for a company it was common place for reps to take you out and give you gifts etc is this not the case any more? didnt mean you had to buy there product.

twoistwiceasfun Mon 08-Aug-11 17:40:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whackamole Mon 08-Aug-11 17:43:46

We have policy on this and it would NOT be acceptable to keep it.

RickGhastley Mon 08-Aug-11 17:49:15

Another one here whose company would not allow you to keep this.

Actually you would not be permitted to accept it in the first place.

fluffles Mon 08-Aug-11 17:52:01

you say it's less than fifty pound, how much less?
fifty pound is our threashold for accepting anything.. if it was more than a tenner i'd probably buy something that could be shared by the team or used in the office by everybody.

NoMoreWasabi Mon 08-Aug-11 17:52:50

Actually, company policy aside there is a potential issue here with the Bribery Act that came into force last month. I'll let you google it but basically it is an extremely sweeping act capturing an awful lot of commercial behaviours.

You can commit an offence where you "accept a financial or other advantage intended that, in consequence, a relevant funciton or activity shold be performed improperly". So basically if they gave you the voucher to entice you or your employer to give them work now or in the future and you accept then you could be breaching this. I think the Amazon voucher, which is close to cash, is a bit of an issue. The fact you got it after rejecting them helps but if they could get future work doesn't rule out there being an issue. The fact they didn't get the work wouldn't stop it being a bribe.

Its new legislation and frankly I think the CPS is going to have better things to worry about in this area that this sort of low value thing but I'd really try and find a way to get it cancelled to be on the safe side.

And if your employer doesn't have a policy on the Act it needs one as failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery is in itself an offence. They have a defence if they have appropriate policies and procedures in place.

Andrewofgg Mon 08-Aug-11 17:55:52

It's difficult to decline a gift which just arrives. Declare it and ask what to do. That is fundamental PYA.

ecuasotamot Mon 08-Aug-11 18:26:23

Right, it turns out that when I was on leave last week, which was when I made the mistake of opening and acting upon the gift email, we were all given copies of the new company policy on bribery and gifts (it puts all existing practice into one document). And the rule is that we cannot take gifts over £20, and even then they should be viewed as gifts to benefit the company.

I wrote under £50 earlier because I had to check the actual value - it's £25. So, yes, I really need to get a reply from the Amazon help people!

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