The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has confirmed that the Bribery Act will come into force from 1 July, three months later than planned, and will not seek to make corporate hospitality illegal. Guidance has been made available today and is available here.
Mr Clarke said: "Some have asked whether business can afford this legislation - especially at a time of economic recovery. But the choice is a false one. We don't have to decide between tackling corruption and supporting growth. Addressing bribery is good for business because it creates the conditions for free markets to flourish."
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills added: "Bribery has no place in British business, at home or abroad. This new robust law reflects the UK's leading role in the fight against bribery, updates regulation dating back to 1906 and paves the way for competitive but fair practice.
"We have listened to the concerns from business. That's why today we are minimising regulatory burdens and publishing easy-to-understand guidance and a guide for small and medium sized companies three months before the Act will come into force. This will give these businesses time to prepare."
Mr Clarke in an interview to tonight's Evening Standard added that the Guidance was simplified to the point where any director would understand the difference between an illegal bribe and everyday business entertaining or gift-giving without having to seek legal counsel. A stronger emphasis on the risk-based approach has also been added.
Helen Burgess, Membership Manager