CV Fraud: Employee ordered to pay back wages.

CV Fraud

Do you have suspicions the new employee has committed CV fraud?

Did you know? 40% of UK workers have lied on their CV, including falsifying qualifications or experience, or simply exaggerating their experience to stand out from other candidates.

Have you noticed that your new employee is not able to complete tasks that are on their CV? Or the quality of their work is not to the standard of a person with 5 plus years’ experience stated in their CV? There is a potential that CV fraud has occurred, and employers/managers may begin to ask questions regarding the new employee’s ability.

Supreme Court ruling on CV Fraud

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling may lead to other employees who commit CV fraud being prosecuted and required to pay back part of their earnings, those earnings deemed as profits for the employee.

How did this happen?

The legal precedent was set in the case of Jon Andrewes. He falsified his Doctorate to acquire a chief executive role in an NHS Hospice in 2004, Andrewes acquired two further paid roles within the NHS. The dishonesty continued for 11 years up until 2015. In 2015 Andrewes’s lies came to light following an investigation that began when Andrewes announced his retirement due to ill health, leading to his sentencing of 2 years in prison and repayment of part of his £643k earnings from 2004 to 2015, a total of £97k.

How to reduce the risk of hiring a CV fraud

Employers have the right to ask for any documentation to prove qualifications, i.e., university certificate. To identify experience of the candidate portfolios or examples of success can be used to verify information in their CV. Any gaps or queries should be identified during the recruitment process, the new legislation also highlights the requirement for hiring managers to review CVs in greater depth and analyse them further.

For example, when hiring for a marketing role that involves content generation at a managerial level, candidates should provide a portfolio of content including the metrics establishing the quality of work and skill level.

References should be checked to confirm identity, researching on LinkedIn is a key method of confirming as well as asking for the person’s work email rather than personal. References for senior roles should include a phone call to confirm any details regarding experience or the person’s attitude in previous roles.

It is best practice to not accept handwritten references and to speak to the referee over the phone or set up an online system that sends a link directly into the referee’s inbox.

Identify and query any gaps in the CV, including random timelines of self-employment. Hiring managers can ask to speak to some of the clients the candidate worked for, allowing them to confirm all information is factual.

Dismissal following the discovery of CV Fraud

The scenario here changes depending on the stage of the recruitment and if the person is employed or the length of time they have been working for the company.

Before the employee accepts the job offer, employers have the right to withdraw the job offer and provide the reasons for withdrawing. Revoking the job offer could open up a claim based on discrimination; companies must protect themselves from such claims by rigorously documenting the whole recruitment activity and expressing the decision clearly.

Grounds for dismissal arise when CV fraud is discovered after the employee is employed.

The employer has grounds for dismissal on the bases of breaching the duty of trust and confidence implied between the employer and employee from the outset.  Depending on how significant the CV fraud is i.e., falsifying qualifications like in Andrewes case, the employer can define the breach as gross misconduct, leading to the employee being dismissed without notice.

The tricky situation arises when the employee is longstanding, especially if they have over 2 years’ experience. Employees with over 2 years’ service can claim unfair dismissal. When taking steps to dismiss an employee, the employer must be able to respond with a reasonable defence for any actions taken place.

Speaking with HR consultants or seeking legal advice is highly recommended to employers prior to dismissing employees on the grounds of CV fraud in order to obtain new employment.

Our HR consultants are here to help provide HR support for these matters, guiding you through the correct processes.

Contact us today for HR advice.

Email: Enquiries@wegobeyondhr.com