Nowadays, offering gifts and also accepting them are considered a normal practice in the corporate world. Therefore, often a question arises whether gifting should be considered as an ethical practise?
Many companies also adopt a no-gift policy to avoid this confusion. They even make a public statement about their no gift policy and also insist their employees not to accept any kind of corporate gifts Singapore.
However, most of the companies accept as well as offer gifts to people and companies with whom they have a business tie-up.
In any case, the organisations must have clear policy about gift giving and taking so that it can be considered as an accepted practice rather than a form of a bribe.
Few guidelines about gift policy
These guidelines must clearly specify the criteria about giving as well as receiving of gifts. Also, there must be clear distinction between behaviour which should be treated as normal and acceptable particularly while considering about gifts.
This will help people to understand what is considered as unethical, criminal and contrary to better corporate governance and also best business practice.
Following few terms must also be defined e.g.
- Acceptor or recipient
- Giver or briber
Clear policy must be set out so that one can know what is acceptable and what employees must not accept. One most common mechanism can be by specifying certain monetary value.
Company must specify certain monetary limits and above which no gift to be accepted. In such situation, when the recipient is unsure about the real value of certain customised corporate gifts then the policy must direct the recipient of the gift to consult his immediate supervisor.
There should also be policy with proper definition about acceptable gifts. Usually, this would include certain conventional hospitality, simple token of appreciation, unsolicited gifts which is promotional in nature and bear a logo of the company or advertising.
To further add clarity, even the value of such gifts must be defined with certain limits or threshold to consider as unacceptable gifts for them.
Approval and declaration
It will still be the best practice to make a clear declaration and approval procedure even if the company policy defines what gifts may or may not be acceptable. Ideally every gift must be approved.
As an example, employee’s line manager should sign off that particular gift. Similarly, there must be a gift register available in the company where all gifts must be declared as well as recorded in that.
Procedure for gifts which cannot be kept
There must be a policy that must detail what employees need to do when gifts are not acceptable, e.g. returning that gift to the gift donor within certain specified time limit.
Offering and accepting gifts
In this section there must be criteria available that can be applied for accepting gifts. Therefore, all gifts to clients/other stakeholders must be uniform and also branded.
It will also be useful to issue every client gift at certain specific time during the year e.g. at year-end. This will ensure that the gifts are not offered to get favour from specific clients or trying to influence the corporate relations.