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What are the practical implications of the Bribery Act 2010 in the workplace?


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Bribery & Corruption Book

Nick Johnson QC and James Arnold authored the twelfth chapter of Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption. This chapter summary looks at employment and whistleblowing.

What are the practical implications of the Bribery Act 2010 in the workplace? What duties are owed by an employee to their employer in relation to bribery and corruption, and how does an employee report such conduct at work without fear of reprisal? Chapter 12 of Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption addresses and explains fundamental concepts about the relationship between employee and employer through the prism of anti-bribery practice in the workplace:

  • Section 1 deals with the terms and duties implied into an employee’s contract of employment not to commit acts of bribery and corruption;
  • Section 2 covers express terms, duties and policies in an employment relationship relating to the prevention of those acts; and
  • Section 3 is concerned with the complex area of whistleblowing (protected disclosures) and the circumstances under which protection is afforded to workers seeking to inform on Bribery Act 2010 offences and other wrong-doing.

The chapter explores in particular the development of ‘public interest’ protected disclosure law, the impact of whistleblowing on the Bribery Act 2010 reported by the House of Lords Select Committee in March 2019 and the scope of protection for a whistle-blower in the workplace.

In practical terms, the chapter unravels the statutory mechanism found in the Employment Rights Act 1996 for reporting bribery, corruption and other malpractice at work, examines the latest whistleblowing authorities including the recent Supreme Court case on Jhuti, and offers practical guidance on investigating complaints of corruption.

The chapter is essential reading for those not only wishing to understand the corollary between the terms of the employment relationship and the Bribery Act 2010, but also how whistleblowing under the protected disclosure provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 applies in the workplace.

Read the Chapter

The full chapter is available for Lexis Nexis subscribers here.

About the Authors

Nick Johnson QC specialises in complex financial and business crime disputes, together with cross-over regulatory, commercial and civil work. He is ranked at Silk Band 1 for Financial Crime by Chambers & Partners 2020 and at Silk Tier 1 for Business & Regulatory Crime by the Legal 500 2021. Nick has developed a particular expertise in bribery and corruption cases, including large scale multi-jurisdictional investigations. In addition to the UK, he has experience of corporate investigations brought by the DOJ and SEC in the United States and similar litigation in Europe and the Middle East. He is a member of the Bar Council International Committee, within which he leads the North America working group.

James Arnold is a specialist in employment and discrimination law. His particular expertise lies in defending complex and high-value discrimination, protected disclosure (whistle-blowing) and detriment claims, as well as providing strategic advice on a broad spectrum of employment law issues.

Find Out More

If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article please contact any of our authors directly or via their practice management team; David Smith on +44 (0)20 7427 4905 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886.


Barristers: Nicholas Johnson QC | James Arnold
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