Does “gifts” pay?

A driver at my place of work got fired because he accepted money from a satisfied customer. The story was as follows: the customer contacted the driver for a supply of an item. The driver indicated a supplier and both went to the supplier on a saturday. The customer was apparently satisfied with the price he got for the item and in return gave the driver rs 200 for his “depeine”. The driver at first refused but on the insistance of the customer, he finally accepted the money.

That’s the point of view of the driver when he goes through disciplinary committee. The customer was familiar with a supervisor working at the committee and when he related his ‘story’, the supervisor informed the boss.

On the next day, the driver was sacked. He was asked to write his letter of resignation.

The issue is as follows:
Does a small blue collar accepting money called corruption ,when white collars accepting money for service rendu called commission?? As the saying goes, when l’exemple vient d’en haut, this is OK, but when you do the same thing, this is called a crime…

The world keeps on spinning…

4 Responses to “Does “gifts” pay?”

  1. Eddy Young says:

    Such unfortunate occurrences demonstrate why companies need to have clear guidelines about accepting gifts. All the companies for which I have worked had such a policy and even stated what gift value was acceptable.

  2. Tilai says:

    Why the customer contacted the driver and not sales? And the supplier is not your company? Did the driver act as company agent/rep when accompanying customer to supplier? Did he use company vehicle to get there, or use company name to get a good price? These things can determine to what extent he was wrong. Also, I guess that the company didn’t have a clear guideline about accepting gifts from customers, as Eddy mentioned.

    I don’t get it. He was sacked and he was told to submit his letter of resignation? That’s not the same. Being sacked imply your employer terminating your contract (usually for misdeeds or not satisfying your terms of contract). Letter of resignation means the employee willingly, by his/her own initiative, ending his/her work collaboration with the employer, (some may do so before he/she gets sacked). Of course, there are cases where employees may be forced to write such letters, but they are not deemed to have been sacked.

    This difference is important because if employee decide to have recourse to legal actions, the options available will differ greatly. It also affects severance payments. Resign – no money, maybe even need to pay employer for early termination. Sacked – severance fee paid to employee depeding on contract clause and labour law in force.

    If it was me, I’d kick ass and drag them to court for unfair dismissal. But then, I’m in a bad mood right now. 😀

  3. tapijo says:

    Yeah! In Mauritius, very few companies have policies abt accepting gifts, let alone the the large ones.
    Tilai: Thank you very much for your lecture on work termination. Don’t know whether the driver will sue for unfair dismissal. The company has a track record of dismissal. If you are a rebel, then be sure that they will kick your ass. But be a good employee and support the every mood of the supervisor and the boss, then be sure you have a career in the company…

  4. Tilai says:

    Haha! You remember when we were working together? Was there any policy about taking gifts? The boss would sometimes give out chocolates that a couple of overseas suppliers gave them when they came to the office, but I am not aware of any gifts policy. When I was in audit, the official position was that we were not allowed to take any gift whatsoever from clients.
    Me being a good employee? No way! Remember how I used to shout at the other staff (not those in my dept of course)? 😀 The boss must have been mighty relieved to see me leave the company.

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