Gifts from third parties

Gifts from customers or suppliers

Sometimes an employee receives a gift from a customer or supplier with whom he or she has a good business relationship. A bottle of wine, a gift basket, a sum of money, discounts, invitations... The ways in which a particularly satisfied customer can thank an employee for their services are varied.

Value of the gift

Low-value, customary gifts are not a problem. The employee may accept them, provided that the employment contract or company rules do not provide otherwise.

Obligation to return

The employee is obliged to return to the employer everything he receives in the course of his professional activity, with the exception of customary gifts. The employee must, by virtue of his duty of care and loyalty, refrain from any behavior that could harm the employer's interests.


When the gift from the customer or supplier reaches a certain amount, the situation can be delicate. The acceptance or solicitation of bribes by an employee may result in immediate termination of employment.

If a bribe is offered by a customer or supplier, the employee must immediately inform the employer and refuse the offer.

Bribery - Penal Code Offence

If an employee solicits or accepts an undue advantage, he or she may, under certain conditions, be guilty of passive private bribery. Any advantage that is substantial or contrary to company regulations constitutes an undue advantage.

For the criminal offence to be realized, the advantage must be accepted or solicited for the performance or omission of an act related to the employee's activity and contrary to his duties. The employee must still have the decision-making skills to favor the company that offered or accepted to pay an undue advantage. 

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