Gifts and Hospitality Policy


Gifts and Hospitality pdf(98 kb) 


Go to a specific section:

1. Purpose and Scope

2. Gifts

3. Hospitality

4. Accepting Hospitality

5. Advice and Guidance



1. Purpose and scope

1.1 The university is aware that in the course of normal business transactions with external contacts, whether they are conducted in the UK or abroad, there may be occasions where employees provide or receive gifts or hospitality. Employees must be aware of the potential for the legitimate use of the gift or hospitality to be misinterpreted and this policy aims to prevent any improper behaviour arising, especially in light of the requirements of the Bribery Act.

1.2 This policy seeks to clarify the conduct De Montfort University expects from its employees when they provide, or are offered hospitality and it applies to all staff.


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2. Gifts

2.1 Employees are required not to solicit any gifts, reward or advantage while on university business, under any circumstances and at all times. Guidelines on the acceptance or giving of gifts are as follows:

Gifts for personal use from students

2.2 The university does not encourage the acceptance of gifts from students or their relations, and this is reflected in the Student Regulations. However, there may be occasions when students make token gifts to staff, such as a box of chocolates or similar of a low intrinsic value, in appreciation of the support received during their studies which employees feel unable to refuse. Employees may accept such gifts but are advised to declare them to their line manager.

Gifts for personal use from external contacts

2.3 If a student offers or delivers a gift to an employee, which could be misinterpreted by others, they are advised to politely refuse and return the gift immediately to the sender, explaining the DMU Policy as the reason.

2.4 Employees may accept gifts of token value, such as pens, diaries, calendars or promotional materials from external contacts these should also be declared to their line manager. The university would consider other gifts to be unacceptable.

2.5 Offers of cash gifts, gift vouchers or special discounts, which are not normally available to other employees, are not to be accepted. If refusal of a gift is likely to offend the sender or jeopardise the business relationship, the employee is advised to inform the sender of the university’s rule on gifts.

2.6 Employees are advised to politely refuse any gift that would be misinterpreted by others and report to their line manager any offer of gifts or favours refused and returned to the sender. The report should include:

• The name of the organisation or individual.
• The organisation or individual’s relationship to De Montfort University.
• Type of gift or favour.
• The date the gift or favour was offered and returned.

Gifts to De Montfort University

2.7 Gifts offered to any work area in the university would require approval before they can be accepted. The level of approval that would be required is as follows:


Value of gift(s) and Approval required

Value of Gift(s)Approval Required
Up to £5000 PVC Dean/Head of Cost Centre. In the absence of this individual, the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor must be obtained.
£5000 and above Vice Chancellor


2.8 Gifts of equipment to the university must fulfil the health and safety requirements therefore, the approval of the Director of POD would also be required before acceptance.

Gifts to external contacts

2.9 Employees may offer gifts to external contacts only with the approval of their line manager. Gifts should be appropriate and from the catalogue of official gifts bearing the DMU logo available from Marketing. In exceptional cases, if it is
proposed that the gift is not from this catalogue, the nature and value of the gift must be agreed with the line manager before it is purchased. The expenditure on business gifts can be claimed on expenses by completing form F15a and the procedure for reimbursement is detailed in the Policy on Reimbursement of Business Expenses.


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3. Hospitality

Providing entertainment and hospitality

3.1 The provision of meals, drinks and hospitality generally for business related entertainment is permitted by the university on the condition that:

• The offer of hospitality is appropriate and proportionate to the business being transacted and is not seen, especially by the recipient, as an improper inducement to influence a business-related decision.

• The cost of hospitality will be reasonable. Where practicable, prior authorisation from the line manager should be obtained.

3.2 Where possible, guests should be entertained using the services provided by DMU’s preferred suppliers. If it is necessary to use external facilities for business entertainment, authorisation from the appropriate manager must be obtained in advance on form F15a to enable reimbursement of expenditure. The procedure for reimbursement of hospitality expenditure is detailed in the Policy on Reimbursement of Business Expenses. 

3.3 Employees may also provide hospitality to other employees of the university during authorised activities, using the services provided by DMU’s preferred suppliers. In this case, they will be required to obtain prior authorisation from their line manager.


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4. Accepting hospitality

4.1 Employees may accept reasonable and proportionate business related entertainment from external contacts provided the offer is not capable of influencing business decisions to the detriment of the university.

4.2 Acceptance of hospitality while in attendance at relevant events or functions organised by external contacts can be accepted where it is clear that hospitality is corporate rather than personal.

4.3 If the employee believes that acceptance of hospitality is likely to be misconstrued, the offer should be refused. It is also advisable not to accept offers of hospitality from the same individual or organisation on a frequent basis as this could be misinterpreted.


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5. Advice and guidance

5.1 It is important that employees consider carefully, the circumstances in which they provide or accept gifts or hospitality in order to avoid any suspicion of improper behaviour. If an employee is in doubt as to whether the acceptance of a particular gift or hospitality may be in breach of this policy, they should seek advice from their line manager in the first instance.

5.2 In general, if the offer or acceptance of a gift or hospitality is such that you would be uncomfortable if knowledge of it became widely known, then it may be inappropriate.

5.3 Members of staff are advised to note that alleged breaches of this policy will be investigated under the relevant Disciplinary Procedure, and could also amount to an offence under the Bribery Act.

5.4 To evidence compliance with the Bribery Act and prevent any grounds for suspicion each PVC-dean and director will maintain a local ‘Register of Gifts and Hospitality’ for all gifts and hospitality received, other than token gifts and reasonable hospitality. The Register should record:

• The nature of the gift or hospitality accepted
• Name of the provider
• Date of receipt
• Estimated value.

5.5 There should be evidence each entry has been authorised by the PVC-dean or director.

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