CV to Deceive


Being truthful in a job application is an obvious thing to do. If a CV is not honest, the applicant will likely bear serious consequences if found out, says Derek Inkpin from local solicitors Wiseman Lee 

If a CV is not completed honestly, there will likely be consequences when found out. But are there degrees of untruthfulness or exaggeration of, say, qualifications or work experience, which will not render the employee liable to lose their job and possible criminal implications if the truth later emerges?

If the employer states that the individual would not have been appointed without the required qualifications and professional experience, then no matter how the employee performs his or her duties, criminal offences of fraud and obtaining a pecuniary advantage – that is obtaining a salary to which they were not entitled – will have been committed.

Stating, for example, that the applicant has a degree which will help secure the job or producing a false record of that degree is an obvious statement of serious wrongdoing. But what if the job application stated 15 years’ experience in a previous job was required, and the applicant had only five years of such experience? 

The first scenario of a false degree is obvious wrongdoing, while the second is an exaggeration but also untruthful. There are pressures on the vast majority of people to secure a job that will enable them to pay their bills, or not lose face with others around them. If an applicant’s false CV leads to a job appointment then criminal, civil and employment principles will apply.

People have faced jail sentences for job fraud and the Crown has the right to claim a confiscation order if the defendant has financially benefitted from their crimes. A Supreme Court case (R vs Andrewes in 2002) reviewed how the calculation of the defendant’s assets to be recovered is assessed.  This resulted in a methodology of recovery which removed the profit from the fraud. The outcome is likely to be a large payment to the Crown, not the victim-employer, because the purpose of a confiscation order is to recover criminal assets and not to make good the loss suffered by the employer. However, the court does have the discretion to award compensation to the employer if it deems it appropriate.

In the Andrewes case, the Supreme Court decided a middle-way approach, which resulted in part of the defendant’s previously paid salary being confiscated, not all the money he earned in the job. This still gave rise to an ordered payment to the Crown of over £96,000 with all the serious implications that will entail. 

In some cases, an employer may prefer to reach an agreement with the individual to secure their exit from the business. However, if the employer seeks financial compensation, then that is for the courts to decide.

Wiseman Lee is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. For more information, call 020 8215 1000

Author: Editor