Wage Freeze Increases Staff Dishonesty

Employee Fraud

The long period of pay freezes has led to an increase in employee fraud in the workplace.

The last year has seen a fifty two per cent increase in employee frauds. It is not just serious frauds that have seen an increase, with lower level dishonest actions by staff also seeing an increase this year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has also been an increase in dishonesty in order to gain employment in the first place. This has presented itself in the embellishment of a CV for example. Adding to previous experiences to gain a competitive edge on the competition has risen. Compared to forty two cases last year, there were one hundred and nine this year. Even those currently in employment have, however, used dishonest means in order to get ahead and earn extra cash. There is evidence of more organised and group fraud. For example, there has been a huge increase of fifty three per cent in some employees stealing sensitive data from their employers.

Arjun Medhi of CIFAS commented on the fact that as people are earning less but increasingly feel like they are working harder this has led to these such behaviours. People are battling to keep their jobs and are working harder; however, they don't always see a reward, perhaps other than retention, for that extra work. "As people feel the pinch, organisations must be aware that staff are working harder than ever, often for smaller rewards; going without recognition or adequate recompense." He continued by explaining that "this can create resentment and some people will eventually resort to fraud out of a sense of entitlement or misguidedly perceiving no other way to support themselves. If employers do not keep an eye out for these signs, or indications of staff in financial trouble, then they are leaving the door open for fraudsters."

Referring to the increased number of applicants that have been found to of embellished their applications; Medhi suggested that this could show that there has been an improvement in the methods used to detect such frauds. However, he warned that "all organisations need to invest in better fraud prevention." Ultimately, that would save employers money.