BRIBERY & CORRUPTION POLICY
Hat Trick Productions Limited (Hat Trick) is committed to operating a corruption-free organisation and conducting its business and any dealings with third parties professionally, with integrity and in compliance with all legal obligations. Hat Trick will not tolerate any form of bribery, corruption or related malpractice and expects its employees and any third parties acting on its behalf to adopt a similar approach. Third parties would include any individual or organisation which is engaged by Hat Trick or acts on behalf of an individual or organisation which is engaged by Hat Trick and would cover freelancers, agents, talent, sub-contractors and fixers (each a “Third Party”).
This Bribery Policy explains what is required of any person or Third Party employed or engaged by Hat Trick and what action must be taken by such person or Third Party should it encounter or suspect corruption or bribery of any kind whilst working for or with Hat Trick.
A bribe is an inducement offered, given or received in order to obtain an improper advantage, be it commercially or individually. Under the Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”) the following actions are listed as criminal offences:
1. To offer or give a bribe;
2. To request, agree to receive or accept a bribe;
3. To bribe a foreign public official ; and
4. Failure by a company to prevent bribery by an associated person acting for that company’s benefit.
If an individual or a company is found to have committed an offence under the Act, substantial (unlimited) fines can be imposed and individuals responsible can face up to 10 years imprisonment. Obviously, a company implicated in any form of bribery or corruption would also suffer unquantifiable damage to its reputation.
The offence outlined at point 4 above refers to “associated persons” of an organisation. This is intended to cover the entire range of persons that may perform services for or on behalf of an organisation, including employees, freelancers, agents, suppliers and subsidiaries. Hat Trick therefore requires all persons and Third Parties employed or engaged by it to comply with this policy and the Act generally at all times.
Hospitality and Gifts
Hat Trick recognises that hospitality is, for the most part, an accepted form of business in order to establish or build good business relations and that it is normal for employees and Third Parties to give and/or receive gifts and hospitality in the course of their engagement. However, care must always be taken to ensure that the gift/hospitality that is given or received by/from Hat Trick or Third Parties is reasonable and appropriate given the particular set of circumstances.
As a general rule, the less lavish the gift/hospitality is and the lower the expenditure, the less likely it will be deemed a bribe. If a gift/hospitality given or received appears out of the ordinary based on the circumstances and the particular business relationship or if the gift/hospitality is beyond what would reasonably or justifiably be given in the industry, question why it is being offered.
It is crucial that any person or Third Party giving or receiving a gift/hospitality on Hat Trick’s behalf considers the intention behind the gift/hospitality. If the giver of the gift/hospitality is hoping to persuade, induce or oblige the recipient to act improperly (as opposed to simply contributing to a legitimate business relationship) it could be deemed bribery. Please contact a member of the Business Affairs Department immediately if based on the above you are still unsure whether a gift/hospitality is reasonable and/or appropriate.
Hat Tick operates a Company Gift Register which logs all gifts given or received by or on behalf of the company. Any person or organisation acting on Hat Trick’s behalf must register each gift received or given by it in the Company Gift Register as soon as it gives/receives the same.
The Act extends to the bribing of foreign officials and it is therefore crucial that any person or organisation acting on Hat Trick’s behalf abroad is made aware of Hat Trick’s policy on bribery and corruption. This clearly needs to be considered when engaging fixers and production services companies for foreign filming.
Hat Trick expects all employees and Third Parties who are required to provide their services abroad to seek local advice with regards disguised requests for facilitation payments; question the authority of those demanding any payments and ask to confirm such authority with superiors; always require receipts for any payments made; and, where necessary build in extra time to cover potential delays as a result of non-payment.
Code of Conduct
When working for, with or on behalf of Hat Trick it is never acceptable for employees or Third Parties to:
• Offer or give a payment, gift or hospitality with the intention of obtaining a business advantage as a result of that inducement (rather than because of a bona fide commercial reason for providing the advantage, such as a lower price, better service etc), or to reward a business advantage already given; AND/OR
• Offer or give a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to "facilitate" or expedite a routine procedure both at home or abroad; AND/OR
• Receive/accept a payment, gift or hospitality from a third party that it would be reasonable to suspect is offered with the expectation that it will result in a business advantage for that party; AND/OR
• Engage in any activity whatsoever that might lead to a breach of this policy or in contravention of the Act generally.
Failure to comply with this Bribery Policy will be deemed to constitute a material breach of an employee, worker or Third Party’s employment or engagement contract and shall entitle Hat Trick to terminate the same with immediate effect.
Monitoring & Review
This Policy has been drafted and approved by the board of directors of Hat Trick who take the matter of bribery and corruption extremely seriously. The board of directors will regularly review this policy, assessing the efficacy of both the terms and implementation of its code of conduct. Any improvements identified as being necessary will be made as soon as possible in order to ensure that the policy is suitable, adequate, up to date and effective at all times.
If you have any questions about this policy or the code of conduct outlined above, or, suspect that any bribery or corruption has taken place, please contact a member of the Business & Legal Affairs department or a senior member of staff immediately.