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With the recent loss of millions of people’s bank details and personal data there is plenty of concern about fraud in the air. The loss of the child benefit details appears to be down to error this time, but according to Glovers Solicitors this is often not the case with 80% of corporate fraud involving an employee.

“Over £40 million is lost every day to fraud in the UK” says Tony Bourne, senior partner with Glovers, whose employment and fraud and asset recovery teams work very closely together in suspected cases of employee dishonesty. “And while you may think that you have a loyal workforce, 90% of fraudulent employees have been with their employer for more than a year and 20% for more than a decade!”

“It’s important to appreciate that if an employee steals from his or her employer, that it is both a criminal act and a breach of the employment contract. The burden of proof in criminal proceedings is far heavier than in employment law and it is therefore perfectly feasible for the employment law process to continue and the employee to be dismissed for insider fraud even if the employee is found not guilty in a criminal court.”

“Consequently the employment contract can be used as a deterrent and should have ‘fraud buster’ clauses which should be communicated to employees at the beginning of their contract. This should include clauses compelling employees to be involved in fraud awareness training and a rigorous monitoring policy covering internet access, e-mails, desk searches and even briefcase searches. The contract should make clear that fraud will be pursued rigorously to recover all sums stolen and that instant termination will follow. You should also ensure that there is a contractual claw back provision which covers all monies owed including notice monies, holiday pay, and bonuses and that you can contractually suspend the employee without pay, during any fraud investigation.”

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