New ICC guidelines on gifts and hospitality
The International Chamber of Commerce has published guidance for companies on how to establish and maintain appropriate policies on gifts and hospitality, based on the most recent international, regional and national rules, as well as on commercial best practice.
The guidelines recommend that a company policy dealing with gifts and hospitality (or “advantages”) should ensure that such advantages:
- comply with applicable law and international instruments
- are reasonable, proportionate and not such as may reasonably be perceived as influencing the recipient’s performance of his or her duties or independence of judgement
- are transparent and are fairly and accurately recorded
- are not knowingly given contrary to the recipient’s own code of conduct
- are not offered or received too frequently or at an inappropriate time
- are appropriate considering the culture and the standard of living in the country or region where they are given or received.
The guidelines suggest that advantages of nominal value, such as pens, mugs, t-shirts or a low-value lunch, may be offered or received in reasonable quantities. Where advantages above a certain financial limit require approval, the guidelines advocate that the same limits should apply to all staff members, regardless of seniority, reinforcing the “tone from the top”. Cash or cash equivalents should never be given.
The full guidelines are available here.