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Case law: Employee who lied on his CV convicted of fraud and given suspended prison sentence

Employers should consider requiring job applicants to provide proof of the qualifications stated on their CVs, proportionate to the risks inherent in the job – for example, imposing stricter requirements where the role is senior and highly-paid and/or involves working with vulnerable people such as children - following a recent case in which an employee was convicted of fraud for lying on his CV.

April 2020

This update was published in Legal Alert - April 2020

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

A senior manager in the NHS, employed at a salary of £130,000 per year, had falsely claimed on his CV that he had a Classics degree when he was being recruited. An anonymous tip-off two years later, followed by a review of his qualifications, brought his lie into the open.

He was charged with the criminal offence of fraud on the basis that the proceeds of his crime were the two years’ salary he had earned so far in the job – around £260,000 - and given a two-year suspended prison sentence

Lying in a CV can also be a breach of the term of mutual trust and confidence implied into the relationship between every employer and employee, giving the employer the right to dismiss the employee without notice.

Where, however, the employee has been continuously employed for more than two years the employer’s decision must be reasonable, and it should follow a fair procedure – usually in its disciplinary procedure.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Employers should consider requiring job applicants to provide proof of the qualifications stated on their CVs, proportionate to risks inherent in the job – for example, imposing stricter requirements where the role is senior and highly-paid and/or involves working with vulnerable people such as children.

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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