Know the relevant legislation

UK legislation

The UK Bribery Act applies to UK companies operating in, as well as outside of the UK. Your company or partners could be prosecuted if there’s evidence of giving or receiving a bribe or facilitation payment.

The UK Bribery Act creates a new offence: ‘failure to prevent bribery’ by the company or associated persons. Having ‘adequate procedures’ in place, such as clear policies and staff training, is a defence against being prosecuted for this corporate offence. The Ministry of Justice has guidance for commercial organisations on the procedures that can be put in place to prevent bribery:

The Modern Slavery Act encompasses all forms of contemporary slavery: human-trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced and bonded labour and the worst forms of child labour.

The UK has issued trade embargoes and sanctions on some countries.

Anti-corruption legislation in other countries

If you do business or have any kind of legal presence in the US, you may be liable under the US Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) for bribery carried out in any other country.

The FCPA is similar to the UK Bribery Act except:

  • facilitation payments are not considered an offence
  • fines and penalties have some upper limits
  • it only covers giving, not receiving bribes

Visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for more information about the FCPA

For information about anti-corruption legislation in other countries visit:

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