Bribery Act delayed over lack of advice

The Bribery Act will no longer come into force in April as planned after complaints were made about the lack of business advice given to firms on its implications.

The Bribery Act introduces a corporate offence for businesses if they fail to prevent bribery by persons working on behalf of a business. The only defence for employers will be to show that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery and corruption.

It's the second time that the Bribery Act has been delayed due to businesses struggling to get to grips with the new legislation and how this employment law will impact businesses.

The Ministry of Justice acknowledged that a review of the regulatory impact of the Bribery Act was ongoing and therefore had contributed to the delay.

"When the guidance is published it will be followed by a three-month notice period before implementation of the Bribery Act," a government spokesperson confirmed.

They added that work is being carried out to make the guidance "practical and comprehensive" for businesses.

Outgoing CBI director-general Sir Richard Lambert recently said that companies are facing "too much uncertainty" about how the Bribery Act will apply to them.

Employers should ensure that staff handbooks and staff policies include a suitable policy for dealing with these offences.

Published on: February 3, 2011

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