Workplace theft in London and elsewhere in the UK has to be handled sensitively.  There is a higher instance of such theft in London not least because the cost of living is comparatively greater than most other areas. Costing businesses across the UK more than £70 billion annually according to the NFA (National Fraud Agency) it’s a growing problem.

As providers of polygraph services we are experts in combating theft in the workplace with the minimum of unpleasant consequences.

Employee trust

No matter the position, trust is an imperative factor between employer and employee. If it’s apparent that you don’t have faith in an employee’s honesty you won’t get the best from them. However, if an employee is working against the interests of your business and its branding you’ve got a huge problem.

Dishonesty can take many forms.  It may be that an employee with access to confidential date is misusing it. Or perhaps they are embezzling money, stealing from petty cash, or taking products or equipment without permission.  Whatever the situation, they are in breach of your code of conduct and policies. So what can you do to combat workplace theft in London without it resulting in a whole raft of infringements in employment law?

Handling workplace theft in London

Left unchallenged theft in the workplace can span many years.  If the theft is minor many employers overlook it rather than become embroiled in the consequences of dismissal which could lead to an employment tribunal.

Employers have learned to their cost that hidden cameras and any form of coercion to obtain evidence is fraught with legal complications.  Nowadays employees are more aware of their rights than at any other time in history.

Nevertheless, minor stealing left to run its course can often lead to major fraud and data theft that can damage your business immeasurably.

Periodic lie detector tests

Any suspicions you have related to theft in the workplace requires evidence.  Periodic lie detector tests provide independent reports that can stop this criminal activity in its tracks.

By implementing them as part of your risk management strategy you can achieve several things including:

  • Getting the employee to confess during a pre-test interview
  • Identifying the culprit
  • Obtaining evidence that may be allowed in any ensuing tribunal
  • Making other employees aware of how their colleague has let them down

Bear in mind that employees must agree to take lie detector tests.  You can obtain such agreement by sending out a memo seeking their agreement and getting them to sign it. You can explain that random tests will take place as part of new risk management procedures. Honest employees will not object to them.  They may be aware that a colleague is involved in dishonest activity which reflects badly on all of them.

Other preventative measures

It’s vital to keep accurate records of missing money or items and suspicious data handling.  You should also look out for unusual behaviour in an employee such as:

  • Reluctance to take holiday time due to them
  • Excessive ordering of office stationery and other supplies
  • Non-reconciliation of petty cash or other normal accounting
  • Employees accessing data that is not necessary to their role

Include a lie detector test clause in employment contracts for new employees.  In this way you have their consent to conduct them.

If you’d like more information on how polygraph services can discreetly combat workplace theft in London and nationwide please contact us.  Our clients who use periodic lie detector tests as part of their risk management procedures have seen a significant improvement in their bottom line. As theft and fraud increase more businesses are using innovative methods to counteract it.