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Best way to beat fraud? Send employees on holiday!

12 August 2011 #Employment

Leading advisory firm, Ernst & Young are advising employers that the best way to identify fraud within their business is to send employees on extended holidays. Apparently, whilst the employees are away their colleagues are more likely to discover any irregularity. They believe that by forcing employees to take a break of at least two weeks fraud in Britain could be reduced by millions of pounds per year.

Jonathan Middup, a Partner in the Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services practice has said:

"We see a clear increase in fraud detection where companies enforce a compulsory two week break over summer.  Perpetrators are away and not able to cover their tracks easily. Frauds, such as accounts manipulation that are covered up in the course of the year are often spotted when colleagues take over and notice something is not quite right."

"The profile of a typical fraudster is a long serving, trusted employee, who works long hours and is reluctant to take their annual leave. Without doubt, one of the most simple and cost-effective anti-fraud measures is to ensure employees take at least two consecutive weeks holiday."

The Ernst & Jones website advises employers to take the following steps to combat fraud:

  • Encourage a sustained holiday for staff;
  • Properly investigate issues which may at first appear to be a mistake or where suspicions may seem trivial;
  • Have clear policies about what constitutes unacceptable behaviour and what action will taken against fraudsters;
  • Get your processes right.  Businesses should appoint an officer to undertake a risk assessment. Record incidents where ethical standards may have been breached, log concerns, and build the learning points into future processes;
  • Train employees to ensure they understand your policies. Give adequate support and ask employees to sign compliance statements;
  • Demonstrate a message of zero tolerance. As a first step, discuss the issues at a board meeting and ensure the minutes reflect that you have added anti-fraud measures to your code of conduct.
Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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