29 January 2016 #Employment
An employment tribunal has recently held that an immigration officer, who accepted a bribe and then delayed returning the money and reporting it, was fairly dismissed.
In Blake v Home Office ET/2302074/2014, the Claimant worked for the Home Office. The Claimant received a bribe from an individual, thought to be around £200. The Claimant then failed to make a timely report of the bribe and return it.
The Claimant had a previously unblemished disciplinary record and despite returning the money, the tribunal held that it was reasonable for the Home Office to dismiss her for gross misconduct. Important factors for the tribunal were that the Claimant worked in a public function and her role required a high degree of trust. The tribunal also noted that the Home Office had a policy prohibiting the acceptance of a bribe and requiring employees to immediately report any bribes offered.
It is important for all employers to have an anti-corruption policy which deals with how employee should deal with any bribes they are offered. All employees should also be made aware of this policy, for example through an employer providing training on a periodic basis. By having such a policy in place, a Tribunal may be more persuaded that any disciplinary procedures an employer invokes, which may involve dismissal (summarily or otherwise), were fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
Full members can view a copy of our Bribery Act 2010 factsheet here.