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Business compliance: gifts from suppliers

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My Japanese company now came up with some compliance bullshit, that we can't accept gifts over 35€ from suppliers, although we have had a very friendly relationship with them for years. If I decide to completely ignore this compliance bullshit, are there any legal consequences that are applicable in Germany?

The order came from Japan, but I am unaware on how this should be enforceable here. And we do get some nice events with the suppliers, although I have ZERO power to decide on ordering from them.

 

Another issue is I travel frequently to Asia, where our representatives/business partners provide us with dinner every night and it is highly impolite to refuse.

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yes.

 

do you then have a anti corruption officer? if not you will soon.

 

your allowance is quite generous. 

 

 

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That is your company policy. 

 

I could get sacked.  That is the perogative of my employer.

 

Even under the level allowed, you can expect to keep a list of all gifts received. 

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Just now, Kommentarlos said:

I could get sacked.  That is the perogative of my employer.

They wouldn't do me that favor. It would be their big loss, which would probably bring down the company within a year.

I am talking about non internal consequences.

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2 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

They wouldn't do me that favor. It would be their big loss, which would probably bring down the company within a year.

I am talking about non internal consequences.

 

Is this your ego talking?  

 

Everyone is expendable, including you. God forbid you'd drop dead tomorrow, they'd probably have you replaced faster than your body gets cold.  Keep on believing you're not expendable if that feeds your ego. 

 

If I were you, I'd follow the company's ethic rules they have set forth for employees, unless they specifically in writing said you're for whatever reason exempt of these rules. Since you say you're such an asset to your company you  really don't want to see them loose you over a dinner or an expensive or inexpensive gift that you can afford to buy yourself. 

 

Furthermore, since you're such an asset to your company, surely they probably wouldn't mind  if their favorite son inquires what are the parameters of these rules.  In this case, just don't get why you would rather ask people on the internet than ask your company, especially since you're more familiar with the nuances, personnel affairs, management style, company politics etc of this company better than anyone else on this forum.  

 

 

 

 

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You don' go into any details about your area of business or your company so how can any of us say? But compliance is there for a reason. I know that in Pharma, for example, there is quite the clampdown right now...which is good for all of us...and would certainly have non-internal consequences. Sure it's annoying but you aren't the only person going through this. Your Asian partners are going to have to get used to it if they want to continue doing business with Europe.

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How it was done at a former employer of mine:

 

Employees may not accept gifts from clients, but Employees should accept gifts were it would be considered impolite to not accept; However, the gifts must be handed over to HR upon return from the customer.

 

At the end of the year all the accumulated gifts are spread over *all* employees in a raffle.

 

If ever that company would be in a corruption scandal they could point out that there is this regulation and the problem isn't the company structure but the non compliance of some employees...

 

Details can be read here (in German): https://www.haufe.de/personal/arbeitsrecht/compliance-vorsicht-bei-geschenken-von-geschaeftspartnern_76_212402.html

 

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Does the regulation also apply to customer dinners?  Have you asked explicitly about this situation?

 

Often there are exceptions made for this, so long as the amount is of course reasonable and the "dinner" didn't include half naked people dancing around etc!!

 

 

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11 hours ago, Lavender Rain said:

 

Is this your ego talking?  

 

Everyone is expendable, including you. God forbid you'd drop dead tomorrow, they'd probably have you replaced faster than your body gets cold.  Keep on believing you're not expendable if that feeds your ego. 

There are 3 guys here (out of 300) that are absolutely essential. I am one of them. If one of us leaves, the company can just close.

We just have too much deep knowledge of the products. Don´t have to prove anything to you, so no need for concrete examples.

 

 

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Just now, MikeMelga said:

There are 3 guys here (out of 300) that are absolutely essential. I am one of them. If one of us leaves, the company can just close.

 

What happens to you then if one of the other two guys leave? 

 

To answer your original question, my employer has a policy on anything with a value of over 5€ and I had to sign my acceptance of the policy at the time I signed my employment contract. Violating the policy is grounds for disciplinary measures including termination. 

 

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1 minute ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Does the regulation also apply to customer dinners?  Have you asked explicitly about this situation?

I have to ask in more detail. I do participate in many customer and reps dinners, but I am not part of sales.

 

1 minute ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Often there are exceptions made for this, so long as the amount is of course reasonable and the "dinner" didn't include half naked people dancing around etc!!

In Asia dinners can go crazy expensive, so yes, it was beyond reasonable, so that´s why I am asking.

But saying "no" is not an option.

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6 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

What happens to you then if one of the other two guys leave? 

We also leave. As well as many people. We openly talk about it. Still, probability of happening is not that high.

 

6 minutes ago, engelchen said:

To answer your original question, my employer has a policy on anything with a value of over 5€ and I had to sign my acceptance of the policy at the time I signed my employment contract. Violating the policy is grounds for disciplinary measures including termination.

Termination is not my concern, I am thinking of legal consequences beyond the company.

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1 hour ago, theGman said:

You don' go into any details about your area of business or your company so how can any of us say? But compliance is there for a reason.

Although we are a separate entity, we belong to a very large Japanese corporation. This is a group policy.

 

1 hour ago, theGman said:

I know that in Pharma, for example, there is quite the clampdown right now...which is good for all of us...and would certainly have non-internal consequences. Sure it's annoying but you aren't the only person going through this. Your Asian partners are going to have to get used to it if they want to continue doing business with Europe.

Our area is more industrial and lab equipment. TBH the chances of being corrupted are very low, there are just too many smart people deciding which supplier to take. That is why this sounds over the top.

Still, I accept dinners (I have to!) from customers and business partners in Asia, so this puts me in a strange situation.

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There are no legal consequences beyond being sacked for not following the ethics policy of the company.   Except if we are talking about big amounts of money, which I don't think it is the case.

 

Maybe for others that could be interested, not to Mike because he is the Steve Jobs of his company.   You have to be extra careful with travel expenses because a mistake can be used to sack you in the future if one day they decide you are not needed anymore.   For example, if you are invited to a dinner, or if your hotel includes breakfast, you are supposed to reduce the correspondent amount from your daily allowance.

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4 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Legal consequences could be tax related or e.g. bribery. 

 

In which case it does not matter if he broke company policy or not, as this is much more serious.

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