What happens if you get caught stealing at work?
If you are caught stealing outside of work and it can be shown that the act has affected the trust and confidence of your employment position, your employer could justify a charge of gross misconduct against you. Grounds for a fair dismissal. Employee theft can have a devastating effect on a business. It usually brings a psychological detriment as well as a financial one, often unseen initially by employers, but ultimately increasing tension within the workplace. Stealing can occur in all tiers of your business, and its important to remember that it comes in different forms, not just ‘skimming the till’ when closing up at the end of a shift.
Theft in the workplace is a fact of retail but it can still be difficult to deal with. There are various things business owners can do to protect their organisation without necessarily involving the police at all. This article will outline what to do if you suspect a theft has been committed, and how to deter thieves in the first place. According to the most recent report from CIFAS, the fraud prevention service, employee fraud is on the rise.
These increases may stem from the economic and financial challenges facing many in the UK or they may simply be because organisations are not properly protecting themselves. It is important that business owners are aware of the laws governing investigations in the workplace. There are a number of resources available online, what are selectors in css as through ACAS. If problems in the workplace do arise, an investigation must be carried out thoroughly.
This means that evidence must be collected. Business owners are permitted, by law, to conduct covert investigations in the workplaceincluding the installation of covert cameras. There are two laws which may, on the face of it, inhibit such techniques — these are the What causes severe itching in the groin area Rights Act and the Regulatory Investigation of Persons at Work Act.
However, if a business owner can show that their investigations can be deemed reasonable in the circumstances then these laws actually contribute to your case.
In many cases, however, theft can be investigated through simpler means. If your company keeps detailed records of its inventory, then tracking theft in the workplace is relatively easy. There is software available to assist in this. Often simply talking to staff and informing them that you are aware of potential thefts will act as a deterrent.
Consequently, an effective deterrent will reduce the likelihood that fraudsters take the chance to commit a crime. If you decide that a formal investigation is required, it is vital that it is carried out properly.
A flawed or incomplete investigation can undermine the disciplinary process and leave employers vulnerable to claims for unfair dismissal.
There are three key criteria an employer must satisfy if they decide to dismiss an employee. The employer must demonstrate that they:. Legally, for a dismissal to be judged fair, an employer must show that they carried out a thorough investigation into the matter before taking action. On a related issue, investigations are also important when dealing with employee grievances because the evidence collected shows the employee that their complaints are taken seriously.
An open and honest investigative process benefits everyone. If you decide to take positive action against an employee for fraudulent practice or for simply stealing from youit may be worth investing in a private prosecution service. Although the police can be a first port of call in many cases, the brutal fact is that they do not have unlimited resources and commercial and business crime, especially when it is internally driven, is not high on their operational agenda.
The Police often take the view that the commercial interests of a company do not justify the expense of a thorough investigation and you are in the hands of authorities whose resources are stretched. Further, if the police are used, the case is prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution What to cook with butter beans. For the CPS to continue with a case against a person, it must be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to take that case on and that there is sufficient evidence to realistically secure a conviction.
Of course, what the CPS decide is important in the public interest may not be what you think is in terms of the loss to your business. Whether there is enough evidence to proceed is also dependent upon the quality of the police investigation and how stretched they are in getting the case together. You may be more likely to achieve an effective result, and i t may be both cheaper and quicker in the long termto utilise private prosecution services.
However you decide to proceed, it is important that you take steps to safeguard your business from internally driven fraud. But if business owners show that they have robust measures in place, employees are far less likely to turn to crime. Dave is an agency consultant and has worked extensively with both law firms and major retailers in the UK. He specialises in digital content, online PR and insight modelling and also runs a reputable music blog.
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It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. What is theft in the workplace? There are two types of theft in the workplace: Tangible theft means involves items that are physically stolen from an organisation such as equipment, machinery and stock.
Intangible theft in the workplace involves the theft of intellectual property like copyrights and trademarks, permits and computer software. This type of fraud tends to be the most damaging for businesses. How can I investigate workplace theft myself? Staff dismissal and w hy investigations need to be carried out thoroughly.
The what mobile network does giffgaff use must demonstrate that they: Genuinely believed that misconduct had occurred Had reasonable grounds for this belief Had arrived at this belief after a reasonable investigation. Prosecuting the Offending Employee If you decide to take positive action against an employee for fraudulent practice or for simply stealing from youit may be worth investing in a private prosecution service.
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Grounds for a fair dismissal
While the statistics of theft at work are shockingly high, we know that half of the British population have not been dismissed; this means that employers are either turning a blind eye, or simply do not consider the acts are serious enough to warrant a draconian response. As always, you should play it on the safe side if you want to keep your job. I have recently been suspended from work due to theft. I admitted the act. I was caught on CCTV stealing money from the till. I have done this a couple of times since Christmas as i have racked up huge gambling debts. I have stolen around ? UK all together over a period of 7/8 times. No, you will not face charges. You will never work for that company again, and should probably not show your face anywhere on their property. That being said, not to be a blowhard or anything, but.
This will obviously therefore be a stressful time for you. Under s. If you are dismissed then under s. Allegations of theft at work would fall under the potentially fair reason of conduct. Your employer will therefore normally be able to demonstrate that there was a potentially fair reason for your dismissal.
However, your employer will also have to show that:. If your dismissal is found to have been either procedurally or substantively unfair then you may succeed in your unfair dismissal claim. In order for your dismissal to be fair your employer must have considered among other things :.
If your employer makes the decision to dismiss you because of an allegation of theft at work then, among other things, they should have conducted a fair and impartial investigation and disciplinary hearing and have made a fair, impartial and genuine decision that you may be guilty of the allegations, with it being reasonable to dismiss you on the basis of this.
You should be given the option to appeal your dismissal by your employer. If you have been given the option submit a disciplinary appeal letter to your employer then you should do so within the given time frame. You can use the disciplinary appeal letter template below if you wish:. If you think that there have been elements of unfairness in the disciplinary process then you may wish to submit a grievance to your employer on this point as well.
You can use the grievance letter template below to do so if you wish:. Get some employment law advice from a specialist employment solicitor. A lot of law firms undertake a free employment law consultation and you can gather valuable evidence on the nature and strength of your claim from this. Before the limitation date 3 months less 1 day from the date of your dismissal in simple unfair dismissal claims to the Employment Tribunal using the necessary ET1 form.
You can use the ET1 form example provided below:. You can click on this link to learn how to submit a claim for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal. Direct 2 Lawyers offer free employment law advice for employers and free employment law advice for employees.
The specialist employment lawyers they use offer employment law advice and compromise agreement advice. Previous post: Small businesses not worried about cost of sacking staff, putting them at odds with Vince Cable. Next post: Hurt at Work? Delivered by FeedBurner. Your Name required. Your Email required. Your Message. However, your employer will also have to show that: Your dismissal was procedurally fair — a fair procedure was carried out in dismissing you Your dismissal was substantively fair — the decision to dismiss you was reasonable in the circumstances If your dismissal is found to have been either procedurally or substantively unfair then you may succeed in your unfair dismissal claim.
Can you be dismissed as a result of allegations of theft at work? In order for your dismissal to be fair your employer must have considered among other things : The nature of your duties at your employer — e. The position that you have at your employer — e. The nature of the alleged theft that occurred — e. Your past record at your employer — do you have an unblemished record or have you been accused of theft before?
Whether the allegation of theft has damaged mutual trust and confidence between yourself and your employer If your employer makes the decision to dismiss you because of an allegation of theft at work then, among other things, they should have conducted a fair and impartial investigation and disciplinary hearing and have made a fair, impartial and genuine decision that you may be guilty of the allegations, with it being reasonable to dismiss you on the basis of this.
You can use the disciplinary appeal letter template below if you wish: Disciplinary appeal letter Submit a grievance to your employer If you think that there have been elements of unfairness in the disciplinary process then you may wish to submit a grievance to your employer on this point as well. Get some advice from a specialist employment solicitor Get some employment law advice from a specialist employment solicitor.
Submit a claim for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal Before the limitation date 3 months less 1 day from the date of your dismissal in simple unfair dismissal claims to the Employment Tribunal using the necessary ET1 form. You can use the ET1 form example provided below: Download ET1 form You can click on this link to learn how to submit a claim for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal.
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