If you have business contacts, you may at some point be offered a gift: a physical object or a service or advantage. What gifts can you accept without allowing your integrity to be called into question?
Accepting gifts always brings integrity risks because it may lead to undue influence or a real or perceived conflict of interests. In accepting a gift, service or advantage, you should always first ascertain that doing so will not compromise your autonomy.
You may in any case not accept any gifts, services or advantages:
- That are worth more than € 50.
- From suppliers of services or goods.
- If the person making the offer still ‘needs’ something from you.
- In a negotiation situation.
Invitations to meals, theatre performances, concerts or events are also considered to be gifts. If networking is part of your job description, you will probably at some point be invited to such events. You may only accept such invitations if they are functional, sober and effective. And make sure that you always retain your independence.
Notify and check
You should always notify your supervisor of your intention to accept a gift or invitation. In case of doubt, you should always check whether your supervisor agrees. As a rule, you can safely accept small gifts such as a bottle of wine or flowers following a presentation. More expensive gifts may not be accepted.
For more information, please consult the Code of Conduct on Integrity (in Dutch only). Section 3.2 covers personal advantage and how to handle such situations.