As part of our portfolio we assist companies in assessing applicants for a position to ensure they hire, train, and retain the best people.
We can assess candidates ability and behaviour, identifying their critical characteristics and abilities, in order to ensure that our clients select the best candidate for the role. It is all about managing the risk.
Clear communication and leadership ensures a team flourishes and helps to build a successful and productive business environment. We assist candidates to maximise their chances of success by communicating effectively and demonstrating that they have the skills set and qualities that are needed for the role they have applied for. We help our clients to hone their skills and do everything possible to achieve success.
That process begins with the job application and CV and it is vital that you get it right from the very start. If you lie in your application then you may not only have lost a valuable job opportunity but you might also end up with a criminal conviction and all the unpleasant consequences that go with that.
I remember marking papers for a postgraduate law examination back in the summer of 1995. As a law lecturer back then I was responsible for drafting and marking examination papers. Part of one of the exam questions read “John Dunn applies to Fishfolds, solicitors, for a job in their conveyancing department. At the interview he tells the partners that he was admitted in 1984. The truth is that John is not a solicitor at all: the only law exam he has is ‘O’ – level law. He nonetheless gets the position.”
TELLING LIES IN A JOB APPLICATION OR CV COULD RESULT IN A FRAUD CHARGE
Telling lies in a job application or CV could result in you being charged with fraud under Fraud Act 2006. Grapevine HR referred to this possibility in a recent online posting in which they referred to statistics from CIFAS, the UK fraud prevention service, relating to employment-related fraud which showed that there were 324 people prosecuted in 2013 for making fraudulent applications.
Of course, criminal liability for telling lies in a job application is nothing new and even prior to the Fraud Act 2006 it was always possible to be charged with a criminal offence for this type of conduct; that’s why this type of conduct always cropped up as part of the examination paper being sat by aspiring barristers or solicitors.
Back in 1993 I lectured criminal law to postgraduate students at BPP Law School; I recall taking my students through various scenarios that could give rise to criminal liability under the Theft Acts 1968 and 1978 relating to obtaining property, services, or a pecuniary advantage by deception. The old deception offences had often lead to technical arguments and practical difficulties; the Fraud Act 2006 overcame many of these difficulties.
The fact that the prosecution no longer has to prove that a victim was deceived or suffered an actual loss has made it much easier to prove a case and convict a defendant; the emphasis is on the conduct of the defendant and not the result.
The defendant in the case of R v Adams  Crim LR 525 (CA) was charged under s1 Theft Act 1978 (now repealed) with obtaining services by deception when he had falsely completed an application form for the hire of a car. In that case the prosecution had to prove that the service was obtained as a result of the deception.
On the other hand, in the case of Hensler (1870) 22 LT 691 the deception did not lead to the money being obtained. In this case Hensler had written a begging letter making false representations. The recipient of the begging letter knew that Hensler was not telling the truth but sent money anyway. Hensler was not guilty. Even though he had obtained money it was not obtained by means of the deception. In the case of Lewis (1922) a teacher obtained a teaching job by falsely stating that she was certified to teach. The court in that case concluded she had been paid because she had worked and not because of the deception.
There were many examples of cases where people were convicted under one of the hotchpotch of offences that existed where they had made a false statement and as a result gained property, a service, or a pecuniary advantage. There were also cases where an acquittal resulted or an appeal was allowed as a particular offence was deemed not to have been made out on the facts of a given case.
THE FRAUD ACT 2006 MODERNISED THE LAW OF FRAUD MAKING IT EASIER TO CONVICT CRIMINALS
The Fraud Act 2006 made dealing with these situations far easier and a conviction for alleged criminal conduct more likely to follow. As the 2012 Ministry of Justice Post-legislative assessment of the Fraud Act 2006 stated: “The objectives of the Act were to clarify and modernise the law, and to make fraud law more straightforward for juries and practitioners.”
Under the Fraud Act the defendant’s conduct must be dishonest and his intention must be to make a gain or cause a loss, or the risk of a loss , to another; no gain or loss need actually have been made. The fact that the prosecution no longer have to prove that a victim was deceived or suffered an actual loss has made it much easier to prove a case and convict a defendant.
I recall at the beginning of 2007 acting in a case in one of the first prosecutions under the new Fraud Act and thinking how much easier it was to make out a case now that the various difficulties associated with the old deception offences under the Theft Acts no longer existed. Under the old law a victim may not have believed a misrepresentation made by an alleged fraudster and so the prosecution would have failed to have proved that the deception actually caused the obtaining of the property or the service. The Fraud Act overcame such difficulties as the defendant need only intend by making the representation to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss, he doesn’t actually have to make a gain or cause a loss – just intend to.
So although applying for a job using false information had always laid the applicant open to a range of possible offences under the old law depending on the facts of the particular case, it is now much easier to prove an offence for such conduct under the Fraud Act.
So applying for a job and tendering false information in support of your job application may result in a conviction for fraud. Of course the full circumstances of the case will need to be considered to determine whether a charge is merited and the prosecutor will have regard to the Code for Crown Prosecutors that sets out the general principles Crown Prosecutors should follow when they make decisions on cases. Prosecutors must only start or continue a prosecution when the case has passed both stages of the Full Code Test. The Full Code Test has two stages: (a) the evidential stage followed by (b) the public interest stage.
The CIFAS figures show that 324 people were prosecuted in 2013 for making fraudulent applications, so being found out and then prosecuted for lying in your application is a real possibility.
One should also note that oftentimes there may be an overlap between criminal and civil liability. I have delivered training sessions and filmed training DVD’s for lawyers in UK on the overlap of civil and criminal cases and covering the differences and consequences of pursuing the criminal or civil route in any particular case. Prosecutors are guided to guard against the criminal law being used to protect the commercial interests of companies and organisations. Again, one has to look very carefully at all the facts and circumstances of each case.
But as far as the application process is concerned the answer is simple; don’t become a career criminal by lying in your job application.
Contact us now to discuss how we may help you to improve your public speaking and presentation skills so you get traction with your specific audience and achieve your desired objectives.
Author: Lee Phanurat-Bennett