Dealing with employees likely to be involved

It is important that individual employees understand the importance of avoiding any conduct which might "tip off" competitors and so potentially jeopardise any immunity or leniency application.

There are a number of factors which might affect your decision as to whether or not to suspend or dismiss any employees involved in cartel conduct. Consider whether:

  • the employee’s continued presence at work might cause further problems for the business. It might be, for instance, that this would have a detrimental effect on other employees, prejudice or cause difficulties for the investigation or resonate badly with other stakeholders such as shareholders or the press
  • any on-going co-operation may be needed from those employees in relation to any immunity or leniency application, or to otherwise deal with regulators (will you or a regulator need to interview the employee again for instance?). If this is the case, consider whether suspending or terminating the employee may leave them disinclined to assist. It is possible to put in place on-going co-operation agreements with any employees who were involved in or have knowledge of the cartel conduct and who resign, retire or are dismissed. This may assist in dealing with any regulatory investigations or private litigation in the future

If criminal sanctions are potentially involved, individual employees who were involved in the conduct should obtain independent specialist criminal law advice.  See what if potentially criminal conduct is involved for further detail.