The Fair Work Act 2009 states that it is an offence to give, receive or solicit a corrupting benefit.
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Giving a corrupting benefit
A person must not dishonestly provide, or offer to provide, a benefit to another person (or cause those things to occur) with the intention of influencing an officer or employee of a registered organisation.
Receiving or soliciting a corrupting benefit
The Fair Work Act provides that a person must not dishonestly request, receive, obtain or agree to receive or obtain a benefit from another person:
- with the intention that the receipt, or expectation of receipt, of the benefit will influence an officer or employee of a registered organisation
- with the intention that the provider believes that the receipt, or expectation of receipt, of the benefit will influence an officer or employee of a registered organisation.
Penalties that apply
An individual who gives, receives or solicits a corrupting benefit may be imprisoned for a period of up to 10 years and/or may be fined a maximum of 5,000 penalty units.
A body corporate may be fined a maximum of 25,000 penalty units.
Benefit is given a wide meaning in the Fair Work Act and includes any advantage and is not limited to property.
The intention to influence an officer or employee involves an intention to influence them:
- in the performance of their duties or functions as an officer or employee
- in the exercise of their powers or performance of their functions under the Fair Work Act or the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009
- to give an advantage of any kind which would not be legitimately due to the person, their spouse or an associated entity of the person.
The intention to influence does not need to:
- be in relation to a particular officer or employee of an organisation
- be in relation to an officer or employee using their powers or functions, or performing their duties in a particular manner or giving a particular advantage to a particular person
- result in a person actually being influenced.
Find out more
See section 536D of the Fair Work Act.
Read our corrupting benefits guidance materials.