Legal: Dealing with dishonesty

Anna Bithrey looks into the legal ramifications for the one in 10 people who lie on their CV

Back in 2017, a YouGov survey revealed that at least 10% of British people openly admitted to having lied on their CV, with 40% of those confessing to embellishing their education and qualifications in some way, revealing just how common the issue of casual CV fraud actually is.

Here we investigate the legalities surrounding dishonesty during recruitment while also assessing what employers can do to better spot potential untruths and how they should respond if they ever find out an employee has been misleading about their experience.

An employee who has lied on their CV in order to win a job may be viewed as having committed gross misconduct, entitling the employer to terminate their employment contract without notice. Alongside this, should it be discovered that an employee does not have the qualifications necessary for their role, the employer could terminate the contract on the grounds of capability.

If already in employment, once it is discovered that an employee has misrepresented themselves on their CV, employers need to take reasonable action to lessen any risk to their business. This will likely mean bringing disciplinary proceedings against the employee, which may result in dismissal, or if appropriate, a report being lodged with the police.

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