Fraud Act 2006

Obtaining employment by deception – offence under the Fraud Act 2006

It is an offence to “obtain a pecuniary advantage by deception” under the Fraud Act 2006 (previously the Theft Act 1968). This offence can also apply to someone obtaining employment by deception and there is plenty of case law established with prison sentences often being the result for those who have committed the offence.
Clearly the severity of the offence will have some bearing on whether a prosecution is pursued and ultimately the sentencing handed out by the courts. As an example there have been cases where people have used false passports to obtain employment such as the case: Adebayo [2007] EWCA Crim 878, wrongfully using passports to obtain employment. The sentence for Adebayo was two years imprisonment (reduced to 15 months on appeal).
It can also be a very serious offence where someone obtains employment by falsely stating qualifications or obtaining qualifications by deception in order to gain employment. One example is a midwife working for Hampshire NHS who was sentenced to 32 weeks suspended for 12 months after using a falsely obtained qualification to gain employment.
As a responsible employer it is clearly necessary to carry out appropriate identity and background checks before providing employment, not only to ensure the right person has been hired but also to protect clients and members of the public from any subsequent issues arising from someone who obtains employment by deception.


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