Resources: Blog

Vehicle services attendant dismissed for lying on his CV

Blog
|

The truth Hertz

Employers are often required to exercise a significant degree of trust and reliance in job candidates, believing that they will be truthful in recruitment processes.

Employers are often required to exercise a significant degree of trust and reliance in job candidates, believing that they will be truthful in recruitment processes. Whilst it is good practice for employers to double-check a job candidate’s qualifications and experience prior to making an offer of employment, the reality is that information provided in a curriculum vitae or an interview will be relied upon by an employer when considering who to recruit.

For employers, the consequences of incorrect information being provided by an employee can not only raise questions about the employee’s capability to perform the role but also their honesty and integrity in the employment relationship.

This was recently acknowledged by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Tham v Hertz Australia Pty Limited T/A Hertz [2018] FWC 3967. The matter concerned a Vehicle Services Attendant who was dismissed from his employment following the discovery that he had lied about his length of service at a previous employer on his curriculum vitae.

The discovery arose after the employee had made a worker’s compensation claim that seemed dubious to the employer’s HR manager, particularly in the context of concerns that the employee was making a number of other complaints and applications to various commissions and tribunals about the workplace practices and conduct of the employer.

The HR manager contacted the employee’s prior employers, tried to verify his degree and conducted a Google search which uncovered that the employee had made an unfair dismissal claim against a previous employer in relation to a date of dismissal that was not consistent with what had been provided in his curriculum vitae. Whilst the employee had stated he was previously employed for five years – the unfair dismissal decision noted an employment period of ten months.

Having formed the view that it was unlikely that the incorrect date was a typographical error, the employer put an allegation to the employee that he had deliberately provided false and misleading information to the employer.

When the employee failed to attend the disciplinary meeting, the employer made the decision to terminate the employment relationship. The employee subsequently lodged an unfair dismissal claim with the FWC.

The employee gave evidence that the incorrect date was an error and that he had notified the employer of that mistake both prior to the commencement of and during his employment. In considering the matter, the FWC took issue with the employee’s credibility generally, noting in particular that it was not plausible that the employee had disclosed the very error that the employer had relied on, despite there being numerous other errors in his curriculum vitae.

The FWC was convinced that the employee had intentionally misled his employer into believing he had a history of stable and long-term employment and attempted to divert his employer’s attention away from the fact that he had been terminated and that he had taken action against numerous employers (regardless of whether such action was legitimate or not).

Despite their being some procedural deficiencies in the employer’s disciplinary process, the FWC was satisfied that the significance of the employee’s dishonesty justified the employer’s loss of trust and confidence in the employee’s ability to perform his role with honesty and integrity. Accordingly, the FWC dismissed the application.

Lessons for employers

When discoveries of lies or deceit in the recruitment process are made after employment has commenced, employers should carefully consider the inconsistencies having regard to all the circumstances prior to taking any further action. For example:

  • What is the nature of the inconsistency?
  • Was it likely an inadvertent error or intentional?
  • Does it go to the inherent requirements of the position?
  • Does it go to issues of honesty and integrity?

Dishonesty, even in the pre-employment process may damage trust and confidence which are necessary for the ongoing employment relationship.

Information provided in this blog is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Workplace Law does not accept liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the content of this blog, or from links on this website to any external website. Where applicable, liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Similar articles

FWC upholds objection to constructive dismissal claim

Construction zone

In order to access the unfair dismissal jurisdiction, an employee must be “dismissed” from their employment by the employer. One of the instances in which an employee may be “dismissed” from their employment is if they were forced to resign because of the employer’s conduct or course of conduct.

Read more...

Termination of employment letters

In your letter

A termination of employment letter serves a significant purpose in bringing the employment relationship to an end.

Read more...

Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation September 2020

The Queensland Government recently passed legislation amending the Criminal Code Act 1899 (the Code) to criminalise wage theft by employers in Queensland.‍The Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced to the Queensland Parliament in response to a Report released in 2018 by the Queensland Parliamentary Education, Employment and Small Business Committee following an inquiry into wage theft in Queensland. The Report identified critical issues in wage theft as well as deliberate action taken by employers to frustrate employees’ attempts to recover entitlements.

Read more...

FWC upholds objection to constructive dismissal claim

Construction zone

In order to access the unfair dismissal jurisdiction, an employee must be “dismissed” from their employment by the employer. One of the instances in which an employee may be “dismissed” from their employment is if they were forced to resign because of the employer’s conduct or course of conduct.

Read more...

Court penalises accountant for involvement in employer’s failure to keep employee records

Put your records on

The Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) impose a number of obligations on employers with respect to the making and keeping of employee records and pay slips.

Read more...

The onus and presumption in adverse action matters

It’s on you

Under the general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), it is unlawful for a person to take adverse action against another person for a proscribed reason. One of the features of the general protections provisions under the FW Act is the presumption that adverse action was taken for a proscribed reason unless it is proven that the adverse action was not taken for that reason.

Read more...

Let's talk

please contact our directors to discuss how ouR expertise can help your business.

We're here to help

Contact Us
Let Workplace Law become your partner in Workplace Relations.

Signup to receive the latest industry updates with commentary from the Workplace Law team direct to you inbox.