How can employers deal with employee theft?

Employee theft costs business a whopping £200 million every year in the UK. Employee fraud, on the other hand, costs another £50 million losses for businesses.

Employee theft results to a massive impact which poses a number of problems on a business which include (but not limited to) profit reduction, limited chances of success, and endangerment to its future.

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Data theft

Employee theft isn’t just about physical assets or money. Data theft is also a matter at hand—which can be more dangerous for your business as it results in loss of business for many reasons, and can jeopardize your operations if the theft is of proprietary data or of sensitive personal data of individuals.

A prepared employee theft policy

It is considered vital to have an employee misconduct policy that can guide you in handling instances such as employee theft. It also ensures that everything is handled accordingly.

A comprehensive employee policy will specify “theft” as a gross misconduct offense. It should also be able to provide specific action steps on how to approach the situation and what the person in charge should be doing.

Establishing who committed the crime

The process will solely be dependent on an investigation that’s carefully conducted with regard to the facts. Its success, on the other hand, will depend on whether it will be done without compromising the business integrity and abusing the employee’s rights.

Role of a discreet investigation

Theft is factually a criminal offence. This means if you feel like theft has occurred, your first action step is to inform the authorities and handover the investigation. But if in case theft occurred and you are unsure because of lack of evidence, then carry out inquiries before handing the investigation over to the police.

It is important to note that an employer has full responsibility for the manner, impartiality, and fairness of the investigation to be conducted. In uncovering truth of the matter at hand, a CCTV or computer records will be of help. The investigator should then be given access to both.

Following up of investigation results

The case will be dismissed if in case the evidences at hand prove that the employer’s suspicions are groundless. If the employee has become aware of his or her investigation, the best thing to do is for the employer to be transparent. If harmless or appropriate, the evidences that brought his or her grounds for suspicion may also be presented.

When there is firm evidence of employee theft from the conducted investigation, the next step depends upon the employer. Most businesses have processes and procedures in set for them to follow—which means their next step is to formally report the results and present the evidences to the business’ legal advisor. Small businesses who don’t have something similar to this, on the other hand, will need to seek assistance from an Employment Law advisory services solicitor. After doing so, disciplinary proceedings may then start taking place.

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