AP 538: Employee Gift Acceptance

Business & Finance


The purpose of this Administrative Procedure to provide guidance around acceptance of gifts, hospitality, or other benefits by employees in the course of their employment duties.


a)  Gift: refers to anything of value that confers a personal benefit on the recipient unless consideration of equal or greater value is given in exchange.

b)  Near-cash gift: means an item that functions as cash, such as a gift certificate or gift cards or an item that can be easily converted to cash. It is an instrument that the recipient can use to purchase whatever merchandise or service the store offers. There is an element of choice involved.


1. Employees may accept gifts on behalf of the Division that are consistent with its mission, vision and values.

2. This administrative procedure does not apply to the Division long service/anniversary awards. The long service and anniversary awards follow Canada Revenue Agency rules.

3. Employees shall not accept gifts, hospitality or other benefits that will, or could, have a real, apparent or potential influence on their objectivity and neutrality in performing their duties.

4. Employees shall not accept gifts, cash, near cash gifts, trips or other benefits that are connected directly or indirectly with the performance of their employment duties from any individual, organization or corporation, other than:

4.1.  The normal exchange of hospitality between persons doing business together;

4.2.  Tokens exchanged as part of protocol;

4.3.  The normal presentation of gifts to persons participating in public functions, awards, speeches, lectures, presentations, seminars or similar events;

4.4.  Items of small or trivial value such as: coffee, tea, chocolates, appreciation baskets, and flowers;

4.5.  T-shirts with logos, mugs, pens, notebooks, folders, calendars, and other advertising materials or goods received at events such as conferences, exhibit trade shows, training events, seminars that are offered equally to all members attending the event;

4.6.  Food, beverages and moderately priced meals or tickets to local events that are supplied by and also attended by current customers, partners, and vendors or suppliers in the interest of building positive business relationships;

4.7.  Meals or invitation to an event where business is discussed and the attendance was previously approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor.

5. No employee shall permit any influence that could conflict with the best interest of the Division or the Division’s reputation.

6. In situations where employees are offered a gift, hospitality or other benefit and the employee’s refusal may cause offence, or may be a breach of normal protocol, the employee should seek guidance from their supervisor. If the supervisor is uncertain, the supervisor should check with the Associate Superintendent of Corporate Supports and Services.


Date Approved:  June 14

Reference: Education Act: 33, 68, 222

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: June, 2019

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.