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Implement a gift and bribes policy today to ensure your employees aren't falling for 'Gupta tactics'...

by , 14 May 2013
If anything's come of the recent 'GuptaGate' debacle, it's the fact that bribery remains rife in South Africa. Here's how to make sure your company isn't unintentionally following the Gupta example by having a clear 'gifts and bribes' policy in place!

The Gupta family has been accused of distributing food parcels at an ANC North West branch meeting to sway decisions in favour of President Jacob Zuma, says News24

But the members of the Gupta family aren't the only ones accused of using gifts and bribes to get their way.
Even Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has been investigated based on 'allegations raised by 'concerned staff',' over accepting bribes to fast-track certain cases the next, says IOL News
The truth is, accepting gifts and bribes brings the reputation of an entire company into dispute.
Gifts and bribes are more common in business than you think!
If you work in the media industry, even more so, as accepting 'minor gifts' like pens and USB flash drives comes part and parcel with attending certain industry events. 
Some public relations officers simply send them on to everyone in their contact list in the hopes of getting certain information published.
While these small-scale gifts of R100 or less are usually harmless, gifts can also be seen as a bribe for your employees to use certain suppliers' products and services, says FSPBusiness.
That's why you need to institute a 'gifts and bribes' policy in your workplace, if you don't already have one.
Here's what to include in your gifts and bribes policy…
In your gifts and bribes policy, you'll need to specify what counts as a gift, what counts as a bribe, and where there may be a conflict of interest as a result of accepting a gift, says The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
If you're struggling to differentiate between them, simply state that a gift becomes a bribe when the receiver feels obligated to do business with the giver because of the gift.
Next, explain what the employees should do when they receive a gift.
To make this easy for your employees, simply state that all gifts received – no matter the value –  must be disclosed to the employee's immediate manager. 
And make it clear that any gifts that aren't unsuitable will be returned to the supplier, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf
This should keep your employees on the straight and narrow and steer them clear of accepting gifts that could be seen as bribery.

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