Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the US, UK and EU have imposed an unprecedented level of financial sanctions against Russia. The new sanctions block dealings with many Russian banks and restrict many types of business interactions.  Now, more than ever, it is important for businesses to keep track of sanctions and ensure their sanctions policy is up to date.

VinciWorks has created a free sanctions policy template that can easily be edited to suit your organisation, industry and staff, as well as remain relevant with all the current sanctions in place.

You can download the sanctions policy template for free by clicking on the button below.

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A big pile of gifts

Does your organisation have an up-to-date gifts and corporate hospitality policy in place? Are you able to easily register any gifts you receive or give? Having an up-to-date gifts and corporate hospitality policy in place will help you comply with your responsibilities under the Bribery Act and other anti-corruption legislation.

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What should be included in a gifts and corporate hospitality policy?

The purpose of such a policy is to ensure that your organisation and its employees comply with the anti-bribery and corruption policy, bribery laws and best practice in combating corruption in all of the countries and business areas in which you operate. The policy should complement your organisation’s bribery and corruption policy. Here is some guidance on what the policy should include.

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Man in handcuffs holding money

In 2020, Airbus paid a record £3bn in fines for ‘endemic’ corruption. This settlement surpassed the previous UK record for a corporate fine for bribery, which was the £671m paid by Rolls-Royce, Britain’s luxury car manufacturer, in 2017. 

Despite the UK Bribery Act having come into force in 2010, bribery is still a hugely problematic issue in corporate life. Billions of pounds of fines are levied every year and frequent reports hit the headlines of investigations and prosecutions from the US Department of Justice and UK Serious Fraud Office.

Companies should have strict policies in place to ensure all employees understand the steps they need to take to ensure their company cannot be found liable of bribery or corruption. The policy should apply strictly to all employees, partners, agents, consultants, contractors and any other people or bodies associated with the organisation. VinciWorks has therefore created an anti-bribery and corruption policy that can easily be edited to suite your organisation’s staff and industry.
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What is considered inside information?

All non-public precise information relating to your company, which, if made public, would be likely to have a significant effect on the price of financial instruments relating to your company is considered to be inside information. The existence of inside information must always be reported as soon as possible to the Inside Information Committee (IIC) by any person that suspects that certain information may constitute inside information.

No inside information may be publicly disclosed by other means than official press releases in accordance with the rules. Disclosing inside information by means of sharing such information with other people, such as but not limited to: journalists, analysts, shareholders, employees or other similar persons is strictly prohibited and can constitute a crime. Inside information can only be shared with persons who need access to such information in order to fulfil their professional duties, and as long as they are bound by a duty of confidentiality and are included in the relevant insider list.

Insider trading and inside information policy

All inside information must be handled with care and strict confidentiality in order to avoid a breach. Any employee who suspects a violation of your organisation’s policy must speak up and raise the issue to their immediate manager, or follow the company’s whistleblowing procedures. VinciWorks’ insider trading and inside information policy template can easily be edited to include your business’ reporting procedures and relevant contact information.

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Businesses have a responsibility and a legal obligation to follow competition law and ensure staff have the knowledge and understanding to do that. Companies should regularly update such policies. Staff should be made aware that failure to adhere to their company’s competition law policy could result in large fines and criminal charges against individual employees and the company.

VinciWorks has created a competition law policy template that is fully compliant with the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002.

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What should be included in a competition law policy?

Employee obligations with regards to competition law

Employees must report any activity, transaction or dealing which they suspect may infringe upon competition law to the relevant reporting officer. They must also report all contact with competitors where there was any discussion of contracts, competitors, suppliers, sub-contractors or other relevant external bodies to the reporting officer. Full minutes should be recorded of any trade association meetings that are attended by representatives of your organisation.

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Download the New York sexual harassment whistleblowing policy template

When it comes to any potential foul play at work, it is important that employees understand when they should share their concerns, who they should share them with and how to do so. In order to ensure all your staff feel comfortable raising any concerns they have regarding whether staff or clients are involved or assisting in sexual harassment, we have created a detailed whistleblowing policy template. The template can easily be edited to include relevant contact information, the company name and any company-specific procedures. The template is fully compliant with the New York State and City sexual harassment regulations.

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Zero tolerance written on a chalk board

On October 1, 2019, final amendments were made to the New York State law, in force from October 9. All companies with employees in New York State should be reevaluating their current sexual harassment policies and ensure they are up-to-date.

VinciWorks has created a sexual harassment policy template that complies with New York City and State laws. The template can easily be edited to suit your organization and include the details of relevant contact people. You can download the policy template by completing the form below.

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Staff should feel comfortable raising any suspicions of money laundering without fear that doing so could affect their role

The Money Laundering Regulations 2017, which transpose the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive into UK law, came into full force on 26 June. The Fourth Directive includes some fundamental changes to the anti-money laundering procedures, including changes to customer due diligence, a central register for beneficial owners and a focus on risk assessments. For example, there will no longer be automatic exemptions from conducting client due diligence.

Further, the UK parliament has enacted a piece of sanctions and money laundering legislation designed to Brexit-proof the UK’s ability to implement international and European sanctions. The Sanctions & Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 gives the UK new powers regarding sanctions and money laundering. For example, the UK can make, suspend and revoke sanctions regimes which can include broad measures including shipping, trade and even airspace restrictions, in addition to financial sanctions and travel bans.

VinciWorks has created a money laundering whistleblowing policy template that can easily be edited to suit your organisation and include the appropriate contact people.

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Someone rejecting a bribe in a white envelope

Anti-bribery contract clause overview

An anti-bribery clause can be included in a contract whereby the parties commit to comply with certain rules, in this case anti-bribery rules, and understand that if these rules are violated, the contract will no longer be valid. Such clauses help maintain trust between parties and prevent corruption in both the negotiation and the performance of the contract. 

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Man passing over a bribe

The Bribery Act 2010 defines bribery in a very broad way, namely as a gift or donation intended to “induce a person to perform improperly, a relevant function or activity”. When it comes to any compliance matter, it is important to install a culture whereby all staff feel comfortable raising any concerns they may have, be it regarding the actions of a client, a colleague or a member of the management team. VinciWorks has therefore created a bribery whistleblowing policy template that can easily be edited to suit your organisation and include the appropriate contact people.

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