The Sleeper's Blog


High-tech tablets and jars of honey: The assortment of gifts sent to Network Rail employees

Network Rail employees receive, on average, a gift every week from residents, rail organisations, and private companies, with items varying from jars of honey to brand new tablets.

Freedom of Information requests submitted by RTM reveal the vast range of expensive and unusual products that firms send to the organisation every week.

Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles were among some of the most valuable items received, although some staff were gifted vintage bottles of champagne or first-class train tickets.

Among some of the more unusual items given to employees were two separate deliveries of honey from a local beekeeper and a pair of sightseeing brochures accompanied by a “small box of tea” from the mayor of Keelung, a city in Taiwan.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of these gifts come at Christmas time, with hampers arriving from a number of companies – although a spokesperson for the organisation told us that these were often shared out among groups of employees, meaning the price of gifts were split.

The same spokesperson said that NR had generally accepted that receiving gifts worth roughly £20 or less was not considered inappropriate and explained that a portion of the more expensive items (33%) had been provided as prizes for charity auctions or raffles.

While there was an average of one gift delivered every week, NR is a massive organisation employing more than 38,000 people, meaning the practice of receiving items from other companies is hardly widespread.

However, while nothing can be accepted from firms that are in a live tendering process, there were a number of train operating companies that also made the list, with Great Western, East Midlands, London Midland and Southeastern Trains all offering gifts.

You can find the full list of items here.


Rupert Le Bere   27/02/2018 at 18:57

I recall 'back in the good ol' BR days' having to declare ANY gift from a outside party. The dictact didn't last too long: the Human Remains Dept couldn't cope with the mountain of declarations for cups of coffee, jammy dodgers and the like from staff dealing with outside contractors. At least the modern rail industry is using common sense

Ian   05/03/2018 at 21:24

The modern rail(way) industry using common sense, that has to be a first!

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