This anti-bribery policy exists to set out the responsibilities of Machine Labs Ltd (“we”, “us”) and those who work for us in regards to observing and upholding our zero-tolerance position on bribery and corruption.
It also exists to act as a source of information and guidance for those working for us. It helps them recognize and deal with bribery and corruption issues, as well as understand their responsibilities.
We are committed to conducting business in an ethical and honest manner and is committed to implementing and enforcing systems that ensure bribery is prevented. Machine Labs Ltd has zero- tolerance for bribery and corrupt activities. We are committed to acting professionally, fairly, and with integrity in all business dealings and relationships, wherever in the country we operate.
We will constantly uphold all laws relating to anti-bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which we operate. We are bound by the laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010, in regard to our conduct both at home and abroad.
We recognize that bribery and corruption are punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine. If our company is discovered to have taken part in corrupt activities, we may be subjected to an unlimited fine, be excluded from tendering for public contracts, and face serious damage to our reputation. It is with this in mind that we commit to preventing bribery and corruption in our business and take our legal responsibilities seriously.
Who is Covered by the Policy
This anti-bribery policy applies to all employees (whether temporary, fixed-term, or permanent), consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, home workers, casual workers, agency staff, volunteers, interns, agents, sponsors, or any other person or persons associated with us (including third parties), or any of our subsidiaries or their employees, no matter where they are located (within or outside of the UK). The policy also applies to board members.
In the context of this policy, third-party refers to any individual or organization our company meets and works with. It refers to actual and potential clients, customers, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisers, and government and public bodies – this includes their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians, and public parties.
Any arrangements our company makes with a third party is subject to clear contractual terms, including specific provisions that require the third party to comply with minimum standards and procedures relating to anti-bribery and corruption.
Definition of Bribery
Bribery refers to the act of offering, giving, promising, asking, agreeing, receiving, accepting, or soliciting something of value or of an advantage so to induce or influence an action or decision.
A bribe refers to any inducement, reward, or object/item of value offered to another individual in order to gain commercial, contractual, regulatory, or personal advantage.
Bribery is not limited to the act of offering a bribe. If an individual is on the receiving end of a bribe and they accept it, they are also breaking the law.
Bribery is illegal. Employees must not engage in any form of bribery, whether it be directly, passively (as described above), or through a third party (such as an agent or distributor). They must not bribe a foreign public official anywhere in the world. They must not accept bribes in any degree and if they are uncertain about whether something is a bribe or a gift or act of hospitality, they must seek further advice from the company’s compliance manager.
What is and What is Not Acceptable
This section of the policy refers to four areas:
- Gifts and hospitality.
- Facilitation payments.
- Political contributions.
- Charitable contributions.
Gifts and hospitality – We accept 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:
- 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 favors or benefits.
- It is not made with the suggestion that a return favor is expected.
- It is in compliance with local law.
- It is given in the name of the company, not in an individual’s name.
- It does not include cash or a cash equivalent (e.g. a voucher or gift certificate).
- 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).
- It is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time, taking into account the reason for the gift.
- It is given/received openly, not secretly.
- It is not selectively given to a key, influential person, clearly with the intention of directly influencing them.
- It is not above £200.
- 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.
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.
We recognizes 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.
As good practice, gifts given and received should always be disclosed to the compliance manager. Gifts from suppliers should always be disclosed.
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.
Facilitation payments and kickbacks – We do not accept and will not make any form of facilitation payments of any nature. We recognize 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 recognize 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.
We do not allow kickbacks to be made or accepted. We recognize that kickbacks are typically made in exchange for a business favor or advantage.
Political contributions – We will not make donations, whether in cash, kind, or by any other means, to support any political parties or candidates. We recognize this may be perceived as an attempt to gain an improper business advantage.
Charitable contributions – We accept and encourage 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 we make.
Employees must be careful to ensure that charitable contributions are not used to facilitate and conceal acts of bribery. We will ensure that all charitable donations made are legal and ethical.
As an employee of Machine Labs Ltd you must ensure that you read, understand, and comply with the information contained within this policy, and with any training or other anti-bribery and corruption information you are given.
All employees and those under our control are equally responsible for the prevention, detection, and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption. They are required to avoid any activities that could lead to, or imply, a breach of this anti-bribery policy.
If you have reason to believe or suspect that an instance of bribery or corruption has occurred or will occur in the future that breaches this policy, you must notify the compliance manager.
If any employee breaches this policy, they will face disciplinary action and could face dismissal for gross misconduct. We have the right to terminate a contractual relationship with an employee if they breach this anti-bribery policy.
If you suspect that there is an instance of bribery or corrupt activities occurring in relation to Machine Labs Ltd, you are encouraged to raise your concerns at as early a stage as possible. If you are uncertain about whether a certain action or behavior can be considered bribery or corruption, you should speak to your line manager, the compliance manager or the CEO.
If you are the victim of bribery or corruption you must tell your compliance manager as soon as possible if you are offered a bribe by anyone, if you are asked to make one, if you suspect that you may be bribed or asked to make a bribe in the near future, or if you have reason to believe that you are a victim of another corrupt activity.
If you refuse to accept or offer a bribe or you report a concern relating to potential act(s) of bribery or corruption, Machine Labs Ltd understands that you may feel worried about potential repercussions. We will support anyone who raises concerns in good faith under this policy, even if investigation finds that they were mistaken.
- We will ensure that no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to accept or offer a bribe or other corrupt activities or because they reported a concern relating to potential act(s) of bribery or corruption.
- Detrimental treatment refers to dismissal, disciplinary action, treats, or unfavorable treatment in relation to the concern the individual raised.
- If you have reason to believe you have been subjected to unjust treatment as a result of a concern or refusal to accept a bribe, you should inform your line manager or the compliance manager.
Training and Communications
This policy will be displayed on the company’s website and training will be provided to all employees as part of their induction.
If you have any questions about this policy please do not hesitate to contact us.