POLICY ON GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY
1.1 This policy on the receipt and offering of gifts and hospitality is designed to protect staff from
accusations of bribery and corruption and thereby also protect the reputation of the
University. Such gifts and/or hospitality might be offered to members of staff by private
companies, contractors or consultants or any organisation or person seeking preferential
treatment. This policy applies to gifts and hospitality offered by staff to students and vice
versa. Gifts and hospitality offered to friends and family of University staff will also be
unacceptable if they might be seen to entice future business with the University. This policy
also applies to gifts and hospitality which the University might offer to others.
1.2 The expectation is that all staff will conduct themselves with integrity, honesty and openness
at all times. They should maintain high standards of professionalism and propriety. The
conduct of staff should not arouse suspicion of any conflict between their official duty and
their private interest. The actions of individuals acting in their official capacity should not give
the impression to any member of the public, to any organisation, or to colleagues, that they
have been or may have been influenced by a benefit to show favour or disfavour to an
1.3 The acceptance of gifts and hospitality is only permitted in the limited circumstances set out
below at paragraph 2.
1.4 The offering by the University of gifts and hospitality is only permitted in the limited
circumstances set out below at paragraph 5.
2. Circumstances in which It May Be Permissible for Members of Staff to Accept Gifts and
2.1 The following types of gift/hospitality are considered to be acceptable:
(a) A small gift regarded as trivial and of nominal value which may be of a promotional or
advertising nature such as calendars, diaries and charts or where refusal of such a
small or trivial gift would cause needless offence.
(b) Conventional hospitality such as working lunches in the course of official visits;
attendance in an official capacity as a University employee at higher education related
functions, conferences, seminars etc.
The above list is not exhaustive; each offer should be considered carefully in relation to the
2.2 Staff responsible for the purchase of supplies, equipment or services must take particular care
to ensure that there can be no criticism that unequal treatment has been given to suppliers
involved in tendering processes through the acceptance of any gifts or other benefits however
2.3 Where a more valuable gift or benefit is offered from which the University in general might
benefit, rather than an individual employee, acceptance should be referred to the Director of
Development for consideration under the University’s Donations Policy.
2.4 In the case of doubt or where the regularity or value of any hospitality or benefit is in question,
the matter should be referred to the Dean or equivalent senior manager who will refer the
matter to the University Secretary and Registrar for decision. Acceptance of any gift or
hospitality must be recorded in the Register of Interests (see paragraph 4 below). The
University Secretary and Registrar should also be notified and an entry on the register made
when unacceptable gifts/hospitality are declined.
3. Unacceptable Gifts/Hospitality
3.1 The types of gift/hospitality below are unacceptable and acceptance of such gifts/hospitality
are likely to result in disciplinary action being taken against the member of staff involved:
(a) Gifts/hospitality which are lavish or expensive, particularly where received on a
regular basis from the same source. Repeated acceptance of meals, tickets and
invitations to sporting, cultural or social events, particularly from the same source.
(b) Travel, holidays or accommodation.
(c) Offers of items or services for personal use at trade or discounted price other than
discounts generally available to all or most members of staff.
(d) Receiving payment or other reward from an external organisation/company for work
undertaken in an individual’s official capacity as an employee of the University.
(e) Acceptance of gifts/hospitality which could be deemed as influential in the award of a
contract or business to an external organization.
(f) Inducements that could lead to a contractual position between the University and a
supplier, contractor or consultant.
It is also unacceptable to ask for gifts and/or hospitality.
3.2 The list in paragraph 3.1 above is not exhaustive. Each offer needs to be considered with due
regard to its particular circumstances and the nature of the gift/hospitality offered.
3.3 Under the University’s disciplinary procedure, dishonesty (such as bribery and corruption) in
connection with the work of a member of staff constitutes gross misconduct and where such
allegations are substantiated, summary dismissal (dismissal without notice) may occur.
Consequently, it is a disciplinary offence for a member of staff to accept any gift/hospitality as
an inducement or reward for:
(a) Not undertaking their correct duties and responsibilities.
(b) Showing favour or disfavour to an individual/organization.
Similarly, accepting any gift/hospitality that is listed under the section entitled “Unacceptable
Gifts/Hospitality” would constitute a disciplinary offence. Any attempt at bribery or
corruption should be reported to the line manager of the member of staff and the University
Secretary and Registrar without delay. Bribery and corruption are criminal offences that can be
reported to the police.
4. Register of Interests of Members of Staff
4.1 Governors and all senior staff who are members of Executive Board or are at Dean or
equivalent level must annually submit a declaration of interests to the University Secretary and
Registrar. As a senior member of staff, the University Secretary and Registrar will submit an
annual declaration for inclusion in the register which will be reported to the Rector.
4.2 This register is also used to record the acceptance of any gift or hospitality at paragraph 2.4
above and will include those staff below Dean level for this purpose only. Staff should be
aware that this register may be open to the public for inspection on request.
5. Offering of Gifts and Hospitality by Members of Staff on Behalf of the University
5.1 It is not envisaged that the University would offer hospitality to third parties as a regular part
of its business. However, this policy does not prohibit hospitality given by the University to
third parties provided such hospitality is reasonable, justifiable and proportionate. Any doubt
over this matter should be referred to the University Secretary and Registrar for decision who
will also record any decision taken.
5.2 The giving of gifts is not prohibited, if it is a small gift regarded as trivial and of nominal value
which may be of a promotional or advertising nature. It is not envisaged that there would be
any other circumstances warranting the giving of gifts by members of staff to third parties.
Should any such circumstances arise, the member of staff must seek the approval of the
University Secretary and Registrar before any such gift is offered who will record any decision
taken on the matter.
Reviewed and updated August 2011