Oliver McCann, partner in the Employment team at Napthens, has given his top tips following a high profile court case which saw a senior police officer from Carlisle jailed following an inquiry into claims he exaggerated his background to secure promotion and pay rises.
Preston Crown Court heard how Mike Martin falsely claimed to have a university degree and lied about his experience. He was found guilty of fraud and misconduct in a public office and jailed for 18 months.
Oliver McCann of Napthens said: “There are a few basic steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of such actions by an individual.
“Employers should conduct background checks and make sure they follow up with referees. Getting evidence of qualifications is also important, and finally conduct ID checks to make sure an applicant is who they say they are and that they are entitled to work in the UK.
“There are always situations where an individual might slip through the net. In which case there are steps that can be taken.
“If a business discovers someone has lied, consider dismissal but take legal advice first as the staff member may still have rights.
“Consider whether there is a claim for fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation entitling recovery of any losses, including the salary paid to the employee. Finally as a last resort consider whether a report to the police is necessary.
“With any of these steps, it is important to ensure that the proper legal advice is sought to ensure that an employer is correct in taking any action.”