Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
- Purpose and scope of this policy
- The Bribery Act 2010
- The risks of not acting with integrity
- The benefits of acting with integrity
- Policy statement
- Gifts and hospitality
- Facilitation payments
- Indicators of bribery
- Political donations
- Charitable donations
- Local circumstances
- Exceptional circumstances
- Responsibility to report and the reporting process
- Sanctions for breach of this policy
In this policy “we”, ‘us”, and “the Company” mean Platinum Recruitment Consultancy
“Bribe” means an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage; “to Bribe” and “Bribery” are construed accordingly.
“Relevant Person” means any individual (whether an officer of employee of the Company, or a temporary worker, contractor or consultant providing services to or on behalf of the Company) or any corporate entity who performs functions for or on behalf of the Company.
One of the Company’s core values is to uphold responsible and fair business practice. It is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest level of ethical standards in relation to all of its business activities. Its reputation for maintaining lawful business practices is of paramount importance and this Policy is designed to preserve these values. The Company therefore has a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption and is committed to acting fairly and with integrity in all of its business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.
3. Purpose and scope of this policy
This Policy sets out the steps all of us must take to prevent bribery and corruption in our business and to comply with relevant legislation. It is aimed at:
- ensuring compliance with anti-bribery laws, rules and regulations, not just within the UK but in any other country within which the Company may carry out its business or in relation to which its business may be connected;
- enabling any Relevant Person to understand the risks associated with bribery and to encourage them to be vigilant and effectively recognise, prevent and report any wrongdoing, whether by themselves or others;
- providing suitable and secure reporting and communication channels and ensuring that any information that is reported is properly and effectively dealt with;
- creating and maintaining a rigorous and effective framework for dealing with any suspected instances of bribery or corruption.
All Relevant Persons are expected to adhere to the principles set out in this Policy.
4. The Bribery Act 2010
The Bribery Act 2010 (the Bribery Act) came into force on 1 July 2011. The Bribery Act affects the Company in its business relations anywhere in the world.
Under the Bribery Act it is an offence to:
- bribe a person i.e. to offer, promise or give a financial or other advantage to another person, whether within the UK or abroad, with the intention of inducing or rewarding improper conduct;
- receive a Bribe i.e. to request, agree to receive or accept a financial or other advantage for or in relation to improper conduct;
- bribe a foreign public official; and
- fail to prevent Bribery.
5. Risks of not acting with integrity
Involvement in Bribery or corruption carries many risks. Among them are:
- a company which pays or accepts Bribes is not in control of its business and is at risk of blackmail;
- if the Company is found guilty of Bribery or even of failing to have adequate procedures in place to prevent Bribery, it will be subject to unlimited fines;
- any person found guilty of Bribery will be subject to fines and/or imprisonment of up to 10 years;
- a public exposure, or even allegation, of bribery would entail severe reputational damage. The Company’s banking or supply facilities might be withdrawn or be available on much less favourable terms, and the Company could be blacklisted as an approved tenderer for both public and private sector contracts;
- the cost of our insurance cover could increase very significantly; and
- good people will not want to work for us.
6. Benefits of acting with integrity
Equally, there are very clear benefits to acting with propriety. These include:
- we increase our chances of being selected as a supplier in both the public and private sectors;
- we remain in good standing with our banks and our own suppliers and they will want to keep doing business with us;
- a business with high ethical standards is a good place to work; and
- it is a requirement of the REC Code of Professional Practice that we act with integrity at all times.
7. Policy statement
All Relevant Persons and Associated Persons are required at all times:
- not to commit an offence listed above at section 4 or any other offence;
- to comply with the Bribery Act and any other anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation that applies in any jurisdiction in any part of the world in which they or the Company might conduct business;
- to act honestly, responsibly and with integrity;
- to safeguard and uphold the Company’s core values by operating in an ethical, professional and lawful manner at all times.
Bribery of any kind is strictly prohibited. Under no circumstances should any provision be made, money set aside or accounts created for the purposes of facilitating the payment or receipt of a Bribe.
The Company recognises that industry practices may vary from country to country or from culture to culture. What is considered unacceptable in one place may be normal or usual practice in another. You should seek appropriate guidance from the Company’s Compliance Officer. All Relevant Persons and all Associated Persons are expected to adhere strictly at all times to the guidelines set out in this Policy. If you are in doubt as to what might amount to bribery or what might constitute a breach of this Policy, refer the matter to your line manager and/or the Company’s Compliance Officer
8. Gifts and Hospitality
The Company occasionally provides gifts and hospitality to clients, customers, contractors, and suppliers. This is not prohibited by the Bribery Act provided the following requirements are met:
- the gift is not made with the intention of influencing a third party to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage;
- it complies with local laws;
- it is given in the Company’s name, not in the giver’s personal name;
- it does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift vouchers);
- it is of an appropriate and reasonable type and value and given at an appropriate time;
- it is given openly, not secretly;
- it is approved in advance by a director of the Company.
In summary, it is not acceptable to give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given, or to accept a payment, gift or hospitality from a third party that you know or suspect is offered or provided with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them.
9. Facilitation payments
Any payment or gift to a public official or other person to secure or accelerate the prompt or proper performance of a routine government procedure or process, otherwise known as a “facilitation payment”, is also strictly prohibited. Facilitation payments are not commonly paid in the UK but they are common in some other jurisdictions.
10. What are the indicators of bribery?
Common indicators of corruption include those listed below. There may well be others. For example:
- payments are for abnormal amounts (e.g. commission), or made in an unusual way, eg what would normally be a single payments is made in stages, through a bank account never previously used, or in a currency or via a country which has no connection with the transaction;
- process is bypassed for approval or sign-off of terms or submission of tender documents, payments, or other commercial matters; those whose job it is to monitor commercial processes (e.g the Accounts Department or Compliance Department) may be prevented from or hindered in doing so;
- individuals are secretive about certain matters or relationships and/or insist on dealing with them personally. They may make trips at short notice without explanation, or have a more lavish lifestyle than expected;
- decisions are taken for which there is no clear rationale;
- records are incomplete or missing.
11. Political contributions
You should be aware that such contributions can be (or be seen as) Bribes in disguise. .No individual is to make a donation stated to be, or which could be taken to be, on our behalf without the prior approval of the Board. You may, of course, make political donations in a personal capacity but please be sensitive to how such contributions could be perceived, especially by those who are aware of your connection with the Company.
12. Charitable donations
Bribes may even be disguised as charitable donations. Whilst individuals may of course make personal donations to charity, they should not do so on behalf of the Company without prior approval from the Board.
13. Local circumstances
We understand that different parts of the world have different social and cultural customs. This does not affect our position that we do not pay or accept bribes or act corruptly: we do not and will not. However, subject to that position, we understand the need to be sensitive to local customs. For example, there are cultures in which refusing (or even failing to offer) a gift is considered impolite, and could alienate a key contact. In such cases, please refer to the Legal Department. Heads of business units are responsible for establishing variations to this Policy in their unit subject to the agreement of the Finance Director and the Head of Legal.
14. Exceptional circumstances
In some circumstances a payment is justifiable. If one of our people is faced with a threat to his or her personal safety or that of another person if a payment is not made, they should pay it without fear of recrimination. In such cases, however, the Legal Department must be contacted as soon as possible, and the payment and the circumstances in which it was made must be fully documented and reported to the Finance Director for the business and region concerned within five working days.
Such cases will be rare. All Relevant Persons visiting regions where they are more common should familiarise themselves, prior to travel, with current guidance relating to those countries. The Compliance Department] should be consulted if in doubt. For general information on travelling to a particular country, please consult the latest information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
15. Responsibility to report and the reporting procedure
All Relevant Persons are contractually required to take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to ensure compliance with this Policy and to prevent, detect and report any suspected Bribery or corruption. All Relevant Persons have a duty to prevent, detect and report any incident of Bribery and any potential risks of Bribery. If you know or suspect that any Relevant Person plans to offer, promise or give a Bribe or to request, agree to receive or accept a Bribe in connection with the Company’s business, you must disclose this to the Company’s Compliance Officer as quickly as possible to allow appropriate action to be taken promptly.
The Company is committed to taking appropriate action against Bribery and corruption. This may include either reporting the matter to an appropriate external government department, regulatory agency or the police and/or taking internal disciplinary action against relevant employees and/or terminating contracts with associated persons.
The Company will keep your disclosure confidential during any investigation it undertakes to the extent that this is practical and appropriate in the circumstances. The Company will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this Policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. The Company is also committed to ensuring nobody suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting in good faith their suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or corruption offence has taken place or may take place in the future or because they may assist in the investigation of an allegation of Bribery or corruption.
16. Record keeping
All accounts, receipts, invoices and other documents and records relating to dealings with third parties must be prepared and maintained with strict accuracy and completeness. No accounts must be kept “off the record” to facilitate or conceal improper payments.
17. Monitoring compliance
The Company’s Compliance Officer has primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with this Policy and will review its contents on a regular basis. S/he will be responsible for monitoring its effectiveness and will provide regular reports in this regard to the directors of the Company who have overall responsibility for ensuring this Policy complies with the Company’s legal and ethical obligations.
The Company will provide training to all employees to help them understand their duties and responsibilities under this Policy. The Company’s zero tolerance approach to Bribery will also be communicated to all business partners at the outset of the business relationship with them and as appropriate thereafter.
19. Sanctions for breach of this Policy
A breach of any of the provisions of this Policy by any Relevant Person who is an officer or employee of the Company will constitute a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the gravity of the offence, it may be treated as gross misconduct and could render the officer or employee liable to summary dismissal.
Breach of this policy by any Relevant Person who is a temporary worker, contractor or consultant providing his/ her services to the Company may lead to the immediate termination of that temporary worker’s, contractor’s or consultant’s engagement by the Company.
Breach of this policy by any Relevant Person which is a corporate entity could lead to the suspension or termination of any relevant contract, sub-contract or other agreement between the corporate entity and the Company.
Complaint’s Policy and Procedure
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy is committed to providing a high level service to our customers. If you do not receive satisfaction from us we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please contact Rob Cotton by phone 01202203150 in the first instance so that we can try to resolve your complaint informally.
At this stage, if you are not satisfied please contact Paul Sinclair – Director. You can write to him/her at:
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy
Suite 4, First Floor, Richmond House
- We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within 5 working days of us receiving your complaint.
- We will record your complaint in our central register within a day of having received it.
- We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgment letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to receive our acknowledgement letter within 5 working days of your reply.
- We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps;
- We may ask the member of staff who dealt with you to reply to your complaint within 5 days of our request;
- We will then examine the member of staff’s reply and the information you have provided for us. If necessary we may ask you to speak to them. This will take up to 4 days from receiving their reply.
- Paul Sinclair will then invite you to meet him to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. He will do this within 5 working days of the end of our investigation.
- Within 2 days of the meeting Paul Sinclair will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Paul Sinclair will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include his suggestions for resolving the matter. He will do this within 5 days of completing his investigation.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. Another Director of the company will review Paul Sinclair’s decision within 10 working days.
- We will let you know of the outcome of this review within 5 working days of the end of the review. We will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills or the REC, the industry trade association, of which we are a member by writing to the Consultancy and Compliance Team, REC, Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27 – 45 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NT.
If we have to change any of the time scales above, we will let you know and explain why.
NOTE: In any event, we will comply with any statutory procedures that may relate to your complaint.
Equal Opportunities And Diversity Policy
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. We seek to develop a business culture that reflects that belief. We will expand the media in which we recruit to in order to ensure that we have a diverse employee and candidate base. We will also strive to ensure that our clients meet their own diversity targets.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy is committed to diversity and will promote diversity for all employees, workers and applicants. We will continuously review all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful discrimination. Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will treat everyone equally and will not discriminate on the grounds of an individual’s “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) which are age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We will not discriminate on the grounds of an individual’s membership or non-membership of a Trade Union. All staff have an obligation to respect and comply with this policy. Platinum Recruitment Consultancy is committed to providing training for its entire staff in equal opportunities and diversity. Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will avoid stipulating unnecessary requirements which will exclude a higher proportion of a particular group of people and will not prescribe discriminatory requirements for a role.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will not discriminate unlawfully when deciding which candidate/temporary worker is submitted for a vacancy or assignment, or in any terms of employment or terms of engagement for temporary workers. Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will ensure that each candidate is assessed in accordance with the candidate’s merits, qualifications and ability to perform the relevant duties for the role.
Under the Act unlawful discrimination occurs in the following circumstances:
Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Treating someone less favourably means treating them badly in comparison to others that do not have that protected characteristic.
It is unlawful for a recruitment consultancy to discriminate against a person on the grounds of a protected characteristic:
- in the terms on which the recruitment consultancy offers to provide any of its services;
- by refusing or deliberately omitting to provide any of its services;
- in the way it provides any of its services.
Direct discrimination can take place even if the individual does not have the protected characteristic but is treated less favourably because it is assumed he or she has the protected characteristic or is associated with someone that has the protected characteristic.
Direct discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultancy accepted and acted upon instructions from an employer which states that certain persons are unacceptable due to a protected characteristic, unless an exception applies. The Act contains provisions that permit specifying a requirement that an individual must have a particular protected characteristic in order to undertake a job. These provisions are referred to as occupational requirements.
Where there is an occupational requirement then the client must show that applying the requirement is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, i.e. the employer must be able to objectively justify applying the requirement. An occupational requirement does not allow an employer to employ someone on less favourable terms or to subject a person to any other detriment. Neither does an occupational requirement provide an excuse against harassment or victimisation of someone who does not have the occupational requirement.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) is applied but this results in people who share a protected characteristic being placed at a disadvantage in comparison to those who do not have the protected characteristic. If the PCP can be objectively justified it will not amount to discrimination.
Indirect discrimination would also occur if a recruitment consultant accepted and acted upon an indirectly discriminatory instruction from an employer.
If the vacancy requires characteristics which amount to an occupational requirement or the instruction is discriminatory but there is an objective justification, Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will not proceed with the vacancy unless the client provides written confirmation of the occupational requirement, exception or justification.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will use best endeavours to comply with the Act and will not accept instructions from clients that will result in unlawful discrimination.
Under the Act, harassment is defined as unwanted conduct that relates to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. This includes unwanted conduct of
a sexual nature.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy is committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful harassment.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will ensure that the consultants do not harass any individual.
Examples of prohibited harassment are:
- verbal or written conduct containing derogatory jokes or comments;
- slurs or unwanted sexual advances;
- visual conduct such as derogatory or sexually orientated posters;
- photographs, cartoons, drawings or gestures which some may find offensive;
- physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, or any interference because of sex, race or any other protected characteristic basis;
- threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favours;
- retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
If an individual believes that they have been unlawfully harassed, they should make an immediate report to Paul Sinclair followed by a written complaint as soon as possible after the incident. The details of the complaint should include:
- Details of the incident
- Name(s) of the individual(s) involved
- Name(s) of any witness(es)
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will undertake a thorough investigation of the allegations. If it is concluded that harassment has occurred, remedial action will be taken.
All employees and workers will be expected to comply with Platinum Recruitment Consultancy’s policy on harassment in the workplace. Any breach of such a policy will lead to the appropriate disciplinary action.
Any individual who Platinum Recruitment Consultancy finds to be responsible for harassment will be subject to the disciplinary procedure and the sanction may include termination.
Under the Act victimisation occurs when an individual is treated unfavourably because he/she has done a ‘protected act’ which is bringing a claim for unlawful discrimination or raising a grievance about discrimination or giving evidence in respect of a complaint about discrimination.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will ensure that the consultants do not victimise any individual.
Discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavourably as a result of their disability.
In direct discrimination occurs where a provision, criterion or practice is applied by or on behalf of an employer, or any physical feature of the employer’s premises, places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled.
In recruitment and selection there may be a requirement to make reasonable adjustments. For example, it might be necessary to have different application procedures for partially sighted or blind applicants that enable them to use Braille. With testing and assessment methods and procedures, tests can only be justified if they are directly related to the skills and competencies required for the job. Even then, it might be appropriate to have different levels of acceptable test results, depending on the disability. For example, an applicant with a learning disability might need more time to complete a test, or not be expected to reach the same standard as other non-disabled applicants.
Reasonable adjustments in recruiting could include:
- modifying testing and assessment procedures;
- meeting the candidate at alternative premises which are more easily accessible;
- having flexibility in the timing of interviews;
- modifying application procedures and application forms;
- providing a reader or interpreter.
Wherever possible Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will make reasonable adjustments to hallways, passages and doors in order to provide and improve means of access for disabled employees and workers. However, this may not always be feasible, due to circumstances creating such difficulties as to render such adjustments as being beyond what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will not discriminate against a disabled person:
- in the arrangements i.e. application form, interview or arrangements for selection for determining whom a job should be offered; or
- in the terms on which employment or engagement of temporary workers is offered; or
- by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering the disabled person a job for reasons connected with their disability; or
- in the opportunities afforded to the person for receiving any benefit, or by refusing to afford, or deliberately not affording him or her any such opportunity; or
- by subjecting the individual to any other detriment (detriment will include refusal of training or transfer, demotion, reduction of wage, or harassment).
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will make career opportunities available to all people with disabilities and every practical effort will be made to provide for the needs of staff, candidates and clients.
Under the Act, it is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against or to harass or victimise a person because of age. Age discrimination does not just provide protection for people who are older or younger. People of all ages are protected.
A reference to age is a reference to a person’s age group. People who share the protected characteristic of age are people who are in the same age group.
Age group can have various references:
- Under 21s
- People in their 40s
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will not discriminate directly or indirectly, harass or victimise any person on the grounds of their age. We will encourage clients not to include any age criteria in job specifications and every attempt will be made to encourage clients to recruit on the basis of competence and skills and not age.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy is committed to recruiting and retaining employees whose skills, experience, and attitude are suitable for the requirements of the various positions regardless of age. No age requirements will be stated in any job advertisements on behalf of the company.
If Platinum Recruitment Consultancy] requests age as part of its recruitment process such information will not be used as selection, training or promotion criteria or in any detrimental way and is only for compilation of personal data, which the company holds on all employees and workers and as part of its equal opportunities monitoring process. In addition if under age 22 to adhere to Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 and other relevant legislation applicable to children or young candidates.
Where a client requests age or date of birth, this will have to be under an occupational requirement or with an objective justification which should be confirmed in writing.
This policy also covers the treatment of those employees and workers who work on a part-time basis, Platinum Recruitment Consultancy recognises that it is an essential part of this policy that part time employees are treated on the same terms, with no detriment, as full time employees (albeit on a pro rata basis) in matters such as rates of pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, parental and domestic incident leave and access to our pension scheme. Platinum Recruitment Consultancy also recognises that part time employees must be treated the same as full time employees in relation to training and redundancy situations.
GENDER REASSIGNMENT POLICY
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy recognises that any employee or worker may wish to change their gender during the course of their employment with the Company.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will support any employee or worker through the reassignment.
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will make every effort to try to protect an employee or worker who has undergone, is undergoing or intends to undergo gender reassignment, from discrimination or harassment within the workplace.
Where an employee is engaged in work where the gender change imposes genuine problems Platinum Recruitment Consultancy will make every effort to reassign the employee or worker to an alternative role in the Company, if so desired by the employee.
Any employee or worker suffering discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment should have recourse to the Company’s grievance procedure.
RECRUITMENT OF EX-OFFENDERS
Where Platinum Recruitment Consultancy has registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and has the authority to apply for criminal records checks on individual because they are working with children or vulnerable adults or both, we will comply with the DBS’s Code of Practice which includes having a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders.
COMPLAINTS AND MONITORING PROCEDURES
Platinum Recruitment Consultancy has in place procedures for monitoring compliance with this policy and for dealing with complaints of discrimination. These are available from [Rob Cotton and will be made available immediately upon request. Any discrimination complaint will be investigated fully.