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Gift Policy

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A gift policy gives guidance to employees about what is and isn’t appropriate to accept as a gift.

A gift policy provides guidance to company employees about what is and isn’t appropriate to accept as a gift.

iStockphoto / Pali Rao
Definition:

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A gift policy provides guidance to company employees about what is and isn’t appropriate to accept as a present, offering, advertisement, award, or token of appreciation from a customer, vendor, supplier, potential employee, or potential vendor or supplier.

The gift policy states whether employees are allowed to accept gifts both within and outside of work premises. If a gift is allowed, the gift policy defines the acceptable value and type of gift permissible to employees. The gift policy defines who may give a gift to company employees.

Finally, the gift policy defines under what circumstances an employee may accept a gift. The gift policy defines any exemptions to the policy: exceptional situations or circumstances in which employees may accept gifts that are otherwise not allowed. Usually, exceptions to the stated exceptions in the gift policy require the president’s signature.

No matter how well-meaning or well-intentioned a gift, the potential exists for impropriety or the appearance of impropriety to be present because of the existence and acceptance of the gift. A gift policy ensures that employees adhere to the company code of conduct. Codes of conduct generally state that all employees demonstrate a commitment to treating all people and organizations, with whom they come into contact or conduct business, impartially.

A gift policy requires employees to demonstrate the highest standards of ethics and conduct in relationship to potential vendors, suppliers, and customers. The gift policy ensures that employees practice equal treatment, unbiased professionalism, and non-discriminatory actions in relation to all vendors, suppliers, customers, employees, potential employees, potential vendors or suppliers, and any other individual or organization.

See a Sample Gift Policy.

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