Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy:
Reviewed: Jan 2023
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
British Esports Federation (BEF) recognise that its ethical, social and economic responsibilities are integral to its business success. The companies within the group aim to demonstrate these responsibilities through their actions and corporate policies.
The senior management team is responsible for these policies and dedicates time and resources to implement them, but it is ideas from and the active support of all the workforce of the group that make the successful implementation of these policies possible.
The company policy is to be open, honest and have a positive impact on each of its stakeholders including its customers, employees, volunteers, suppliers, business partners, the communities that its companies operate in and society as a whole.
The support that BEF has decided to provide has been determined after reviewing:
- its commercial activities and skills;
- its historic charitable relationships and community; and
- the geographical location of its activities.
Specifically, BEF supports:
- local communities where BEF has business activities with the aim of improving general health, wellness, mental health, fitness, safety and security as well as historical preservation initiatives;
- initiatives to improve cultural links, communication and understanding between people living in the UK and other countries around the world where BEF operates; and
- initiatives to improve national sports and esports organisations.
Specific examples of the kind of support provided:
- Offering BEF facilities and services at a reduced or no cost basis for not-for-profit community groups or charities to sell as part of their fund-raising activities
- Providing BEF team members to support CSR projects
- Combination of the above
Specific examples of the charity, community, and other groups that BEF has supported in the past are:
- WED 2021 – proceeds were donated to COVAX (ensuring covid vaccines are available to people in low-income countries.)
- Royal National Orthopaedic NHS Trust
- Royal National College for the Blind
- North Yorkshire Police Esports Pilot
- Surrey Police Esports Pilot
- Leukaemia Care – World Esports Day/World Gaming Day
- Special Effect – Gaming charity supporting physically disabled people across the world
- National Videogame Museum
BEF has also supported local community and school projects in the UK.
British Esports Federation – Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy:
1. Policy Statement:
1.1 – It is our policy to conduct all of our business and other activities in an honest and ethical manner. Bribery and corruption is not tolerated in our organisation and our business dealings. We are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery and corruption.
1.2 – We will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which we operate. However, the anti-bribery laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010, take priority in respect of our conduct both at home and abroad.
1.3 – This policy sets out our position on bribery and corruption and our responsibilities in relation to preventing it in our business activities, both in relation to those who work for us and those who work with us. The policy also provides information on how to recognise bribery and what to do if you are asked to bribe, you are being asked to accept a bribe, or suspect bribery or corruption is taking place.
1.4 – All of us that do work within or have dealings with BEF and its associated companies need to take responsibility for preventing bribery. You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy. All workers (defined below) must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy.
1.5 – This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and it may be amended at any time.
2. Who is covered by this policy?
2.1 – This policy applies to everyone working within or with BEF and its associated companies, regardless of level/ grade. This includes senior managers, officers, directors, employees (whether permanent, fixed term or temporary), consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, home-workers, casual workers and agency staff, volunteers, interns, agents, and sponsors. We have collectively referred to as these people as ‘workers’ in this policy.
2.2 – It also applies to any other persons ‘associated’ with us. Those ‘associated’ with us includes any individual or organisation you come into contact with during the course of your work for us who performs services for or us or on our behalf. These can therefore include any of our subsidiaries or their employees, Joint Venture Partners, wherever located, suppliers, distributors, actual and potential clients/customers, business contacts, agents, business partners, consultants, advisers, and government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians and political parties. We have collectively referred to these people as ‘third parties’.
3. What is bribery and why is having an anti-bribery policy important?
3.1 – A bribe is a financial or other inducement or reward that is sought, offered, promised or provided with the intention of gaining any commercial, contractual, or personal advantage. We have set out below some examples to assist you so you are better equipped to understand what a bribe may consist of.
Offering a bribe
You offer a potential client tickets to a major sporting event, but only if they agree to do business with us. This would be an offence as you are making the offer to gain a commercial and contractual advantage. We may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for us. It may also be an offence for the potential client to accept your offer.
Receiving a bribe
A supplier gives your nephew a job but makes it clear that in return they expect you to use your influence in our organisation to ensure we continue to do business with them. It is an offence for a supplier to make such an offer. It would also be an offence for you to accept the offer as you would be doing so to gain a personal advantage.
Bribing a foreign official
You arrange for the business to make an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process, such as clearing our goods through customs.
The offence of bribing a foreign public official has been committed as soon as the offer is made. This is because it is made to gain a business advantage for us. We may also be found to have committed an offence.
3.2 – Individuals who bribe or receive bribes can receive a prison sentence of up to ten years as well as an unlimited fine. If BEF or any of its associated companies are found to have taken part in bribery or fails to put in place adequate procedures designed to prevent bribery, we could face an unlimited fine, and face damage to our reputation. We therefore take our legal responsibilities very seriously.
4. Gifts and Hospitality:
4.1 – Corporate hospitality is permitted, but you must adhere to the following rules set out below which have been set by the Board. If you consider a need to vary these rules for whatever reason you must first obtain prior written authorisation from the Chief Executive of BEF. A form is available to guide you through this.
4.2 – You may give a gift to a third party excluding those set out at 5 below provided:
– it is not made by you with the intention of influencing a third party to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage, or in explicit or implicit exchange for favours or benefits;
– it complies with local law;
– it is given in our name, not your name;
– it does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
– it is appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in the UK it is customary for small gifts to be given at Christmas time. Non-monetary gifts up to the value of £75 may be given providing they are in recognition of a particular and legitimate occasion (birthday/ Christmas/ retirement/ wedding, for example) and these have to be pre-approved by the Chief Executive of BEF.
– it is given openly, not secretly; and
– gifts should not be offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties, without the prior written approval of the Chief Executive of BEF.
4.3 – We appreciate that the practice of giving business gifts varies between countries and regions and what may be normal and acceptable in one region may not be in another. The test applied is whether in all the circumstances the gift or hospitality is reasonable and justifiable. The intention behind the gift should always be considered and it must never be given with the intention of influencing a third party. If you are in any doubt at all, you must seek guidance from the Human Resources department who will if necessary, check with the Chief Executive of BEF.
4.4 – You may accept gifts on the same conditions as set out in clause 4.2 above.
4.5 – Corporate hospitality is acceptable, but we must be able to demonstrate that it is reasonable, undertaken in good faith, and as part of an established and important part of our business. We have therefore set the following limit on what we consider to be our routine corporate hospitality as an example: lunch or dinner including drinks at no more than £75 per head.
You need to establish that you have thought through your corporate hospitality and have set appropriate limits that are reasonable to your marketplace. These may be different for different markets/ jurisdictions.
4.6 – You must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered (of whatever value), which will be subject to managerial review. Any hospitality or gifts given or received should be registered in our gifts register which is kept in the Human Resources Department. Please ensure that you email Human Resources within 24 hours of receiving or offering any hospitality or gifts.
5. What is not acceptable:
5.1 – It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:
– give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given;
– give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality to a government or other public official, agent or representative to “facilitate” or expedite a routine procedure (see further details below);
– accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them;
– accept a gift or hospitality from a third party if you know or suspect that it is offered or provided with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by us in return;
– threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
– engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
6. Facilitation Payments and Kickbacks:
6.1 – Facilitation payments are also known as ‘grease’ payments and are typically small or relatively small, unofficial payments made to secure or expedite a routine government action by a government or other public official. They are not commonly paid in the UK but are common in some other jurisdictions in which we operate.
6.2 – We do not make, and will not accept, facilitation payments or “kickbacks” of any kind.
6.3 – Therefore, if you are asked to make a payment on our behalf, you should always be mindful of what the payment is for and whether the amount requested is as you would expect for the goods or service provided. You should always ask for a receipt which details the reason for the payment. If you have any suspicions, concerns or queries regarding a payment, you should raise these with your manager.
6.4 – Kickbacks are typically payments made in return for a business favour or advantage. All workers must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, that a facilitation payment or kickback will be made or accepted by us.
7.1 – We may make contributions to political parties but these will never be made in an attempt to influence any decision or gain a business advantage and will always be publicly disclosed. We only make charitable donations that are legal and ethical under local laws and practices. No donation must be offered or made without the prior approval of the Chief Executive of BEF.
8. How to raise a bribery concern:
8.1 – It is important that you report any bribery concern you have by following the procedure set out in our Whistleblowing Policy. This must be done as soon as possible if you are offered a bribe by a third party, are asked to make one, suspect that this may happen in the future, or believe that you are a victim of another form of unlawful activity. A copy of our Whistleblowing Policy can be obtained from the Human Resources department.
8.2 – If you have any concerns about any issue with this policy or suspicion of bribery or corruption taking place, having taken place, or could in the future take place, you should raise this at the earliest possible stage. Concerns should be reported by following the procedure set out in our Whistleblowing Policy.
8.3 – If you are unsure whether a particular act is or could be bribery or corruption, or if you have any other queries, these should be raised with your line manager or the Chief Executive of BEF as appropriate. We have set out a number of ‘red flags’ at Schedule 1 which provide you with an indication of some acts which could attract suspicion.
8.4 – Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. We reserve our right to terminate our contractual relationship with other workers and third parties if they breach this policy.
9.1 – Workers who refuse to accept or offer a bribe, or those who raise concerns or report another’s wrongdoing, are sometimes worried about possible repercussions. We encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns made in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. However, if concerns are not genuine or are made in bad faith, employees may be subject to BEF’s disciplinary procedure and other workers’ or third parties’ contracts may be terminated.
9.2 – We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting in good faith their suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or other corruption offence has taken place or may take place in the future. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the Chief Executive of BEF immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure, a copy of which can be obtained from the Human Resources department.
10.1 – We will keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making payments to third parties.
10.2 – You must ensure all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with our expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure.
10.3 – All accounts, invoices, memoranda and other documents and records relating to dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts, should be prepared and maintained with strict accuracy and completeness. No accounts must be kept “off-book” to facilitate or conceal improper payments.
11. Training and communication:
11.1 – Training on this policy forms part of the induction process for all new workers. All existing workers will receive regular, relevant training on understanding what bribery is, the risks we face as a business, and how to implement and adhere to this policy.
11.2 – Our zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and as appropriate thereafter.
12. Who is responsible for the policy and its implementation strategy?
12.1 – The Chief Executive of BEF is responsible for this policy and its implementation working with the Human Resources department and all senior managers in the Group.
12.2 – The board of directors has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it.
12.3 – The Chief Executive of BEF, who will report to the Board, has primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy and for monitoring its use and effectiveness and dealing with any queries on its interpretation. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it as set out in paragraph 11 above.
12.4 – You have responsibility for ensuring that you comply with this policy and that you undertake our business and activities on our behalf in an ethical and anti-corrupt way. You also have responsibility for making sure that you report any bribery or corruption concerns in accordance with our Whistleblowing Policy.
12.5 – This Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption policy can be found at the Human Resources department and will also be accessible externally though our website.
13. Monitoring and Review:
13.1 – The Chief Executive of BEF will monitor the effectiveness and review the implementation of this policy, regularly considering its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The policy will be reviewed regularly and in the event that circumstances require it. Any improvements or changes identified as a result of a review or a report or change in the law will be made as soon as possible. Internal control systems and procedures will be subject to regular audits to provide assurance that they are effective in countering bribery and corruption.
The last review date of the policy and procedure was January 2023.
13.2 – All workers are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure they use it to disclose any suspected danger or wrongdoing.
13.3 – Workers are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries should be addressed to the Human Resources department.