SecurityWorldMarket

28/11/2017

Workplace crime increases in December

London, UK

Theft and fraud in the workplace rises in December as workers turn to crime to help fund their seasonal celebrations, according to national health and safety law consultancy, Protecting.

While workplace theft is a year-round phenomenon, the national health safety consultancy says that the pressure to "enjoy" the festive season result in a spike in incidents around Christmas that lead to disciplinary action, dismissal and police involvement.

The Protecting consultancy says that this is a time for employers and colleagues to be extra vigilant, to ensure that Christmas time really is a season of goodwill.

"It's a sad fact that people feel under pressure to spend more to feel like they're having a 'proper' Christmas," says Protecting spokesperson Chris Hall, "And living outside your means sometimes makes people turn to desperate measures."

While the huge majority of employees are trustworthy and honest, just one person taking advantage of their employer's generosity can spoil Christmas for many people, Protecting says.

After speaking to a number (650) of employers and employees about workplace theft around Christmas, Protecting found cases of theft of stock; theft of work property; cash thefts; misuse of company credit card and misuse of employee benefit schemes.

"While some of these were minor cases that resulted in a rebuke or official warning, others resulted in losses of hundreds of pounds and the involvement of police," Hall said.

"In our experience, the most commonly excuse for this kind of activity is the guilty party saying they felt under pressure to overspend in the run-up to Christmas," continued Hall. "With in-your-face advertising starting before we've even had Guy Fawke's Night, the temptation to live beyond your means during the festive season is greater than ever."

However, Protecting says workplace fraud and theft is not the solution for those tempted to fund their Christmas by other means, and it's down to both managers and colleagues to watch out for crime.

Protecting's Chris Hall believes that honesty and vigilance are best for all parties at this time of year: "No boss wants a legal case hanging over the company at Christmas, and no worker wants to be looking for a job in the New Year."


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