The research found that only 56% of firms were aware of the Bribery Act. It also found that larger firms (those with a turnover of more than £50 million) are ahead in terms of their awareness of the Bribery Act (76%), while in comparison, mid-market firms (£5m-£50m) have a long way to go, with 64% still unaware of the legislation.
The study polled 50 procurement managers and directors from firms across the UK – 25 from companies with a turnover of £5 million-£50 million and 25 from companies with revenues in excess of £50 million.
John Smart, partner at Ernst and Young said: “The Bribery Act has been with us for more than a year, and it’s a concern that so many firms still don’t know what it is and what it means for them.
“We shouldn’t need to wait for a company to be fined under the Act before we are spurred into taking the appropriate precautions to manage bribery risk.”
Smart added: “The midmarket and the manufacturers really need to get to grips with their bribery risks without delay.
“If the UK is to export itself back to growth, then this carries with it a whole raft of new risks, including bribery.
“A robust review of the supply chain should be a key focus for businesses, as proper processes for vetting suppliers is required under the legislation.”
HR Legal Service is offering a free Bribery Act Toolkit worth £99.99. Download here: www.hrlegalservice.co.uk/documents/download