· 2 min read · News

Employment fraud has increased throughout the pandemic

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Employment certificate fraud rates have increased by nearly 30% throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the same period of the previous year.

Overall fraud rates, which includes fraud on any verified documents including degree certificates, ID, employment certificates and licences, have also increased by 15% compared with last year.

The new data was compiled by document verification company TrueProfile.io, which says more rigorous recruitment processes are needed. 

Speaking to HR magazine Matt Jenkin, partner and head of employment law at Moorcrofts, said employers should be confident they can trust the information supplied on a CV.

He said: “It is vital that employers have confidence that the experience and qualifications claimed by candidates and employees are accurate.

“Failure to carry out the necessary checks could see, for example, an employee carrying out a role that they don’t have the necessary experience for, exposing the employer to mistakes that may result from that.”

Jenkin said there would also be huge question marks over the integrity of an employee claiming qualifications that they do not have. 

He said: “As well as carrying out the checks, employers could also look at making sure that any job offers are conditional on the experience and qualifications claimed being accurate. 

“Employers should also consider updating disciplinary procedures to make it clear that falsely claiming a qualification or experience is potential gross misconduct.”

René Seifert, co-head of TrueProfile.io, said there has never been a more urgent need for organisations to properly vet the candidates applying for jobs to ensure they have the qualifications they claim to.

He told HR magazine: “It’s particularly concerning to see that the area people tend to embellish the most is in relation to their previous employment by tweaking their title, responsibilities or adding extra years of experience to try to get the edge over other candidates.”

Seifert said because the pandemic has increased online learning, working from home and access to the internet, it has allowed for "diploma mills" to flourish.

“Diploma mills are an unregulated institution of higher education granting degrees with few or no academic requirements.

“Together, these conditions mean that fraudulent applications can thrive, and it’s becoming more difficult for employers to detect them,” he explained.

Seifert said it is important employers in high-risk sectors such as healthcare, implement processes to evade employment fraud.

“In a sector where hiring an unqualified candidate can literally be the difference between life and death, it’s critical organisations protect both themselves as well as their patients or customers from employment fraud,” he said.


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