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Articles and legal news from the Atkinson Vinden Team.

Discovering Fraud in the Workplace

Employment Law

Fraud is on the rise.  Unfortunately fraud occasionally occurs in the workplace by a trusted member of staff.  Fraud includes stealing company money, stealing company property or creating false records with the intention to deceive for the fraudster’s benefit.

Fraud is serious misconduct as defined under the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth).  Your employment contract and workplace policies will also govern how you must deal with the fraud.

If you discover that fraud may have occurred, the first step is for the Company to investigate its suspicions.  Don’t jump to conclusions, without solid evidence.  Usually the fraudster will deny the fraud or only admit to part of what occurred.

Tips to Deal with Fraud on Discovery

  • Investigate allegations properly;
  • Do not dismiss the fraudster without investigating the allegations;
  • Do not make threats in order to obtain a response from the fraudster; and
  • Be aware of your duty to provide information which might materially assist the Police regarding serious indictable crimes.

Tips to Prevent Fraud

  • Review your Company and identify areas of weakness which might be susceptible to fraud. Often there is vulnerability where only one person is responsible for the handling of money without others providing regular control and supervision;
  • Implement administrative systems and processes to ensure the directors check payments made;
  • Implement administrative systems for monitoring which staff are provided with Company property; and
  • Undertake regular staff reviews.

If you have any questions regarding the above or the requirements of the Act, please contact our Employment Team on (02) 9411 4466.