GIACC.WEBSITE.EMPLOYMENTOPPORTUNITIES


Employment Opportunities

This section forms part of GIACC’s overall guidance on gifts, hospitality, entertainment, donations and other benefits (“Benefits”). It gives specific guidance on dealing with the corruption risk where the organisation is considering providing employment opportunities which could be corrupt or be perceived to be corrupt.

Separate sections deal with the corruption risk in relation to other categories of Benefit.  These other sections can be accessed on the following links:

See Benefits Policy for a sample policy which an organisation can adapt and use.

(1) What are employment opportunities?

Employment opportunities in the context of the organisation’s Benefit controls are where the organisation offers employment to someone closely connected with a client employee or relevant public official.  This connection will normally be a family relationship or close friendship.

The employment opportunity could be considered to be a bribe if it is given or received with the intention of influencing someone to act improperly, or as a reward for having acted improperly.

The employment opportunity may be offered by the organisation to a person as a result of a fair competition between several candidates, and the fact that the person who is offered the post is closely connected to a client employee or a public official may be a coincidence.

Alternatively, a public official or client employee with decision making authority over the organisation’s business may request that the organisation grant a position to a member of their family or friend.  This request may not be in return for any special favours.  Alternatively, it may be expressly in return for favours, or the client employee or public official may unconsciously favour the organisation.

(2) What types of employment opportunities are not likely to be regarded as corrupt?

The following are examples of where the offering by the organisation of employment to someone closely connected with a client employee or public official is not likely to be regarded as corrupt:

  • The candidate applied in competition with other candidates, and was selected on merit, and the relevant connected client employee or public official has no decision making function in relation to the organisation.
  • The connection between the parties is not sufficiently close to raise concerns.  For example, the candidate may know, either socially or through business, the client employee or public official, but there is insufficient close connection between them to raise concerns.

(3) What types of employment opportunities are more likely to be regarded as corrupt?

The following is an example of where the offering by the organisation of employment to someone closely connected with a client employee or public official is more likely to be regarded as corrupt:

  • A public official who is about to decide on a major tender for which the organisation is competing requests that the organisation offers employment to a family member of the official.

(4) Controls and factors

The organisation should implement effective controls over employment opportunities, so as to minimise the risk that an employment opportunity could be corruptly given, or be perceived to be corruptly given.

The following are some recommended controls which are designed to avoid corruption in relation to employment opportunities, and some factors to be taken into account in implementing these controls. 

(1) State the restriction in the policy

If the offering by the organisation of employment opportunities to someone closely connected with a client employee or public official is wholly or partially prohibited or restricted by the organisation, or by law, then state the prohibition or restriction in the organisation’s policy.

(2) Consider the intention behind the offer of employment

If the employment offer could be intended to influence someone to act improperly, it should not be offered.

(3) Consider the perception

Do not offer the employment if it could reasonably be perceived to be corrupt.  There are two common perception tests:

  • “Newspaper test”.  Would a newspaper be likely to report the employment, and, if a newspaper did report, what would the public perception be? 
  • “Prosecutor test”.  If the employment did lead to a corrupt outcome, with the result that a prosecution takes place, how would you explain the employment in court to a prosecutor?  Would your explanation be plausible to the judge or jury? 

(4) Comply with the organisation’s employment controls

The organisation should not offer any employment without complying with the organisation’s formal employment controls (see Employment Controls).  As part of these controls, the organisation should take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • the position is commercially necessary for the organisation;
  • the position is awarded on merit after an appropriate competitive process with other candidates;
  • any close connection between the employee and any client employee or public official is identified and considered:
    • if the connection is such that it raises corruption concerns, the employment should not be offered;
    • if the connection is unlikely to raise corruption concerns, then the employment can be offered, but the situation should be appropriately monitored on an on-going basis in case the risk of corruption increases in the future;
  • the employee should not be given a position in the organisation which could influence, or be influenced by, the relevant connected client employee or public official.

Page updated on 10th April 2020

Page first published on 19th January 2016

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