For many years, it has been the norm for businesses to treat their top clients, and clients they are hoping to capitalise upon, to various types of corporate hospitality and entertainment. Major sporting events, such as horse racing at Ascot and Aintree, big football matches, the tennis at Wimbledon and Formula 1 Grand Prix at home and abroad, have always been crowd pullers for business owners, their sales teams, and their parties of high worth clients. Music concerts and events are also enormously popular corporate hospitality choices.
However, businesses that indulge in corporate hospitality need to be careful that they keep their revelling within the boundaries of employment law. If they do not, they risk ending up in an employment tribunal due to action taken against them by clients or their own staff members. Since the Bribery Act 2010 was enforced, business owners should forearm themselves with a clear understanding of what they can offer to clients in terms of hospitality or gifts. If the shoe is on the other foot, they should also be aware of what they can legally accept from their own suppliers without accusations of bribery entering the equation.
As corporate belts continue to tighten, numerous businesses have decided to reduce their hospitality budgets by inviting clients to their premises for soirees. What should be an enjoyable and gratifying experience for both parties can go horribly wrong, resulting in damaging legal battles, if stringent health and safety measures are not taken in to account.
Regardless of the specific environment, business owners should also always remain aware of the Equality Act. Any harassment or offence caused by staff to clients, and vice versa, on the grounds of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or religion can provoke employment tribunal action.
At NorthgateArinso, our outsourced expertise covers employment law relating to corporate hospitality. It also extends much further, incorporating all aspects of health and safety and human resources.
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