Group Gift and Entertainment policy

Lasted updated 12/06/2019    

1. Why it matters

For the most part, the giving and receiving of gifts and entertainment is a normal way of developing and maintaining business relationships with suppliers, contractors and others. Gifts and entertainment should be modest in nature and only ever an infrequent or occasional activity. You must ensure that your personal relationships with external contacts do not influence the decisions that you make on behalf of the business.

Gifts that may be construed as bribes or would cause a conflict of interest or damage the reputation of the business must be avoided at all times. The giving of gifts or entertainment to public officials in any country is generally discouraged and gifts are prohibited if they are intended to influence the decisions of a public official or could give that impression.  

2. Purpose of policy 

The purpose of this policy is to provide you with guidance on what constitutes an appropriate gift or entertainment and when the receiving or giving of gifts should be avoided. The policy also sets down the Group-wide thresholds for seeking approval for gifts and entertainment and the requirements for logging them on the Gift Register.

3. Scope

This policy applies to colleagues employed by companies that are either majority-owned by Tesco or operated by Tesco management. It applies also to consultants, contractors and agency staff in relation to their work for, or on behalf of, Tesco.

Any gift or entertainment given or received must be approved in compliance with this policy and where required must be logged on the Gift Register. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken against any colleagues concerned or the termination of contracts with contractors and other third parties working for Tesco.

4. What is a gift?  

Typical gifts are consumables (such as food or wine), electrical items, tickets to events where the donor does not attend or other items of value. Raffle prizes, donations to charity, discounted services (see below) or the use of a third party’s holiday facilities are also considered gifts under this policy.

Gifts of cash (or cash equivalents such as vouchers or gift cards) are prohibited and must never be given or accepted.  Contact your local Legal Director if you are offered a gift of cash.

You should ask the provider for the value of the gift. If you consider that asking them would be inappropriate, you must estimate the value of the gift based on similar items on sale in your country.

Sample products are not treated as gifts where there is a clear process in place to return or dispose of the product once its suitability for use or sale has been assessed.

5. What is entertainment?  

Entertainment is where you accompany the provider to an event, such as a sporting or charity event or a concert, along with any associated travel, accommodation, meals and refreshments. Where the provider does not attend, the entertainment must be treated as a gift. The total value of the hospitality must be calculated and logged. International travel and accommodation paid for by the provider must be approved by your Business Leader before it may be accepted.

The acceptance of invitations to non-annual global and regional sporting events shall be permitted only in accordance with rules agreed by the Group Risk & Compliance Committee. 

6. Business related travel

Business-related meals or travel, such as supplier factory visits or invitations to attend trade exhibitions, do not count as entertainment, but should not be excessive in nature. Business-related travel does not include the invitation of a spouse or partner.

Any gifts or entertainment received during the course of business-related travel should be approved and notified in accordance with this policy. If the predominant purpose of the trip is entertainment, the full cost of the trip must be approved and notified in accordance with this policy, including flights and accommodation.    

7. Approval and notification thresholds   

Whether given or received, gifts and entertainment must be approved and notified in accordance with the table below. This means that you must receive the approval of your line manager before accepting a gift or entertainment valued at £100 or more, in order for your line manager to assess the appropriateness of the item. Gifts or entertainment valued at £100 or more must also be notified via the gift register prior to acceptance

The financial thresholds below apply to all colleagues around the Group. Business units may, at their discretion, set lower financial thresholds or stricter approval requirements. Any local legal requirements regarding the giving or receipt of gifts must be observed at all times.   

Gift or entertainment value

Approval required prior to acceptance

Notification required prior to acceptance

Less than £100

 

 

 

Self-approval, subject to overall policy compliance

 

 

 

No notification required

 

 

 

£100 or more

 

Line Manager

 

1. Functional Director                      2. Gift Register

 

International travel and accommodation elements of an entertainment package (any value)

Business Leader

 

Gift Register (include within total cost of entertainment)

 

Business Leaders (any value)

Self-approval, subject to overall policy compliance

Gift Register

 8. Assessing the appropriateness of gifts and entertainment  

Gifts or entertainment must always be appropriate, whether given or received. Deciding whether a gift is appropriate is ultimately a matter of judgement. However, the following categories of gift or entertainment are inappropriate and therefore prohibited:

Gifts that may give rise to a conflict of interest:

  • Gifts or entertainment that are given in the expectation that something will be given in return;

  • Gifts or entertainment that are given by a potential or current supplier during a tendering or delisting process;

  • Free or discounted services provided to you by a Tesco supplier, where the discount is given because you work for Tesco;

  • Gifts or entertainment that incentivise individual colleagues in stores to favour the products of a particular supplier.

Gifts that may be considered a bribe:

  • Gifts of cash or cash equivalent;

  • Gifts or entertainment to public officials that are intended to influence their decisions (see below).

Gifts that may harm the reputation of Tesco:

  • Gifts or entertainment that are indecent, offensive or pornographic in nature

  • Requests to suppliers to provide large quantities of free products for Tesco events or free tickets for events that are sponsored by that supplier.

Gifts or entertainment that are excessive in nature:

  • Gifts with a value above £200 and entertainment (including travel, accommodation etc) with a value above £500 will be inappropriate unless there is a clear business justification;

  • Gifts or entertainment that have a disproportionate value relative to the position of the colleague concerned;

  • Multiple gifts or entertainment from one supplier to the same colleague during the course of the year.

If you are unsure about the appropriateness of a gift or entertainment, you should discuss it with your line manager and, if necessary, your functional Director before seeking approval. You may also contact your local Legal Director.  

9.   Public Officials

Particular care must be taken with giving (or receiving) gifts or entertainment to or from public officials since these give rise to concerns about bribery. Business units must conduct sufficient due diligence on third parties to ascertain whether they are public officials, for example, whether they are directors or employees of state- owned companies.

Gifts or entertainment that are intended to influence decisions made by a public official, or which may give that impression, are prohibited. Gifts and entertainment provided to public officials (including working meals) must be discussed in advance with the local Legal Director.

Gifts or entertainment given to public officials by third parties working on behalf of Tesco are subject to this policy and breaches of the policy may result in the termination of contracts with such third parties.

10.  Tax treatment 

You or your cost centre may be taxed on gifts from the same third party where the value is greater than a certain amount in a tax year (currently £250 in the UK). You or your cost centre will also be taxed on the gift where the third party is connected to Tesco or bears the cost of a gift. Where the cost centre pays the tax, the overall cost may increase substantially. The tax position will vary from country to country so you should check what tax treatment applies in your country with your local tax Director.  

11.  Supplier funding of Tesco events and charitable initiatives 

In addition to gifts and entertainment, this policy provides guidance on when suppliers are permitted to fund internal Tesco events or charity initiatives.  This means:

Internal Tesco events:

  • You are not allowed to seek or accept supplier funding for internal Tesco events, such as parties. Where suppliers are invited to buy tickets for internal Tesco events, the price of such tickets must not be used to subsidise the cost of running the event, including the cost for Tesco colleagues to attend.

Charity initiatives:

  • Where you are organising charity fundraising events, such as sporting events or charity dinners, the general rule is that the cost of the running the event must be borne by Tesco;

  • Where suppliers co-sponsor a charitable initiative, their role as sponsor must be clearly and appropriately acknowledged by Tesco;

  • Where suppliers are invited to buy tickets for Tesco fundraising events, the price of such tickets must not be used to subsidise the cost of running the event, including the cost for Tesco colleagues to attend;

  • Where Tesco is making a donation to charity, you may not take credit for contributions made by suppliers or other parties.

  • Where you ask suppliers for a donation as part of a fund-raising activity, the donation must be in a non-cash form e.g. a product for a raffle

No duress:

  • You must never put suppliers or other parties under pressure to buy tickets for Tesco events or provide sponsorship for Tesco events.

Note: in the UK if you are fund raising for GroceryAid, you should ensure your event or activity follows Tesco policy and GroceryAid’s Principles of Good Practice, Charitable Support in the Retail Sector, issued in November 2017.     

12. Raising your concerns 

If you suspect that a breach of this policy has occurred or may occur in the future, for example failure to seek approval for gifts or entertainment received from third parties or failing to log them on the Gift Register, speak to your line manager in the first instance.  If this is not possible, speak to your local Security or Legal contact or call/email your Protector Line to report your concerns (full contact details are in our Code of Business Conduct).

We are committed to ensuring that colleagues who raise concerns are not victimised and do not tolerate retaliation in any form against individuals who raise concerns.  If you raise a genuine concern in good faith, you will not face any adverse consequences for speaking up, even if you were mistaken about your concern. If you believe that you are being retaliated against, you should report it immediately.

13. Related Documents 

This policy is supported by the following Group policies:

  • Code of Business Conduct
  • Group Anti-Bribery policy
  • Group Conflicts of Interest policy
  • Group Charitable Donations policy
  • Group Whistleblowing policy

14. Reporting requirements by business units  

All business units are required to maintain a Gift Register in order to log gifts and entertainment given and received by colleagues, contractors and others working for Tesco. Reminders regarding the policy must be issued to colleagues working in each business unit at least once each year.

Leaders and Directors are expected to conduct regular reviews of gifts and entertainment logged on the local Gift Register and to discuss whether additional rules are required for the business unit in question.

The local Risk & Compliance Committee is required to review the Gift & Entertainment policy at least once each year. The local Legal Department is expected to monitor compliance with the policy on a regular basis, including seeking evidence of the value of gifts or entertainment logged.