How to deal with staff fraud


According to a recent report from accountancy firm RSM, employee fraud cost UK businesses £40m last year. With reported crimes including payment fraud, client record fraud and thefts from the workplace, this figure is thought to be the “tip of the iceberg” according to Akhlaq Ahmed, RSM’s forensic partner.

Fraud can be classified in three ways, deception or misrepresentation, omission or abuse of position and can be tricky to prove. All instances of fraud in the workplace must be dealt with swiftly, but in all cases, prevention would have been better than cure. And the best prevention is a clear communication of expectations and an open company culture.

Ensure all staff are fully aware of company policy regarding fraud from the moment of hire. Give new employees a company handbook outlining their responsibilities and make reading and understanding it a contractual obligation. Give continuing staff regular reminders of current company policy.

If there is a suspicion of fraud in the workplace it is imperative that intent is proven. In some cases, the staff member involved may not realise they are doing anything wrong, for instance by taking company property home for remote working or claiming for expenses which are not covered by their contract.

In cases where full intent is clear, ensure you have the evidence to back up your claim. Inform staff of instances of fraud, ensuring Data Protection procedures are followed, which will send the message that fraud will not be tolerated.

Encouraging a culture of honesty within the company will help staff feel comfortable in coming to you should they suspect their co-workers. Ahmed recommends that organisations have up to date whistleblowing procedures which encourage employees to be confident in reporting their concerns.

Avoiding employee fraud is an ongoing battle but ultimately can be prevented for the most part by incorporating the right company culture from the start.

Uber faces $8.9 million fine


Uber faces a huge fine after employing drivers with criminal records.

Another reason why employment screening is so important!

Uber is facing an $8.9 million fine in Colorado after state regulators found the ride-share company had hired nearly 60 drivers with criminal records or serious motor vehicle offenses.

The drivers should have been disqualified after background checks turned up felony convictions and records of reckless or intoxicated driving, according to a Monday announcement from the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Some drivers were working with suspended or revoked licenses. The investigation also looked into Lyft but found no such violations.

The Colorado PUC launched the investigation earlier this year after an Uber driver in Vail allegedly assaulted a passenger. When the local police department cross-checked the driver’s Uber records, it found the company had hired individuals with previous criminal records. This contradicts state requirements for companies to review both criminal and driving history reports and disqualify drivers with felony convictions, alcohol or drug-related driving offenses, sexual offenses or moving vehicle violations...article continues on the link below.

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GDPR Myths Busted


Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is on the war path of myths surrounding the upcoming GDPR which comes into force on 25th May 2018. Denham voiced her concern that the exaggerations are causing us to lose sight of the truth of GDPR: greater transparency, enhanced rights for citizens and increased accountability.

The Myth – The biggest threat to organisations from GDPR is massive fines

The Truth – Yes, under the GDPR the ICO will have the power to issue bigger fines than the £500,000 current threshold. The new maximum penalty has been increased to £17m or 4% of annual turnover. But Denham accuses the media of “scaremongering” when they say that the ICO will make examples of organisations for small infringements. She also states that the maximum fine will be used in exceptional cases only. The ICO has many other, less severe, tools which “are well suited to the task at hand and are just as effective”.

The Myth – You must have consent if you want to process personal data

The Truth – Consent has always been part of Data Protection law. GDPR simply clarifies that pre-ticked opt in boxes cannot be used to indicate consent, and that it must be straightforward for people to withdraw their consent should they choose.

The Myth – I can’t start planning for new consent rules until ICO formal guidelines are published

The Truth – The final guidelines are due to be published in December, but Denham states that the ICO’s draft guidance is unlikely to change significantly in the final wording.

The Myth – All details of personal data breaches much be reported to the ICO immediately and huge fines will be issued to organisations who don’t report on time

The Truth – Personal data breach reporting has always been best practice. Under the GDPR breaches only need to be reported if the breach could pose a risk to people’s rights and freedoms. Breaches do not need to be reported immediately. Rather “without undue delay” and where feasible, within 72 hours. Denham again reassures that fines will be proportionate and are only one potential outcome of infringement.

The Myth – GDPR is an unnecessary burden

The Truth – Without proper data protection procedures in place, all organisations risk damage to their customer relations and reputation, which will ultimately hurt their bottom line.

The GDPR simply demands more compliance with data protection and increased accountability, and organisations being forced to prove their compliance will in fact garner public trust and bolster company profits.


Children in Need 2017


Security Watchdog have been getting in a giving mood today by hosting a sponsored "Wear your Pyjamas to work" day. Thank you to all that took part. It all goes to a wonderful cause.

Here are some photos of our amazing team...

Please continue to give as much as you can afford. Thanks.

Gamification in the recruitment process


The use of gamification in the recruitment process is nothing new. One of the earliest examples was an online game developed by the US Army in 1999 called “America’s Army”. It allowed players to explore army life army in some detail, which increased the recruitment reach and scope of candidates.

Since then, gamification has been used by many organisations from prominent global companies to small start-ups, as a way of enticing the new generation of workers onto their staff.

Online assessments and games can also be used to test candidate’s knowledge, in some cases even in place of the requirement to see traditional qualifications. Using this as an early test can be helpful in removing the unconscious bias that some HR professionals might have against certain candidates, allowing a more diverse set of contenders to reach the short list.

Using technology and the gaming boom in recruitment also firmly places organisations at the forefront of the industry by showing candidates that their company has its finger on the pulse of innovation.

However, it is not without drawbacks. Critics of gamification are concerned that it could expose companies to a risk of exploitation, with dishonest applicants identifying potential loopholes in the automated process.

Gamification can certainly reduce costs in the recruitment process but should be used in addition to, and not in place of, genuine human interaction. After all, a candidate’s online persona could be very different to how they might present in a staff atmosphere.

Screening candidates should take priority after initial selections are made. Checking the candidate’s education, employment history, immigration status and criminal background are crucial if organisations want to avoid costly mistakes in the recruitment process.

Genuine candidates will welcome the human touch of comprehensive screening. Finding a balance between showing a candidate that your organisation is an innovator in its field, and that you are serious about finding a candidate you can trust, is key.

Gamification can be a useful tool at the early stages of the recruitment process. It can quickly cut the initial candidates in testing their abilities, skills and character traits. But, as the process becomes more focused and the shortlist list gets smaller, it is time for the humans to take back control to ensure that all candidates are authentic.

Eu vs UK Immigration law - Toufik Lounes v Secretary of State for the Home Department - The Verdict


The Court of Justice of the European Union today released a press release regarding its judgement in the case of Toufik Lounes v Secretary of State for the Home Department.  The case, outlined in July 2017 here, centred around the right of a naturalised British woman of Spanish origin to live with her Algerian husband in the UK, despite his residency application being refused.

Mr Toufik Lounes, an Algerian national, had originally entered the UK in 2010 before illegally overstaying his six-month visitor visa, while Perla Nerea García Ormazabal had obtained dual British-Spanish nationality in 2009, having lived in the UK since 2004.  The two married in 2014, whereupon Mr Lounes applied for the issuance of a residence card as a family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) national.  This application was refused in May 2014, and the couple appealed to the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, who in turn referred the case to the Court of Justice.

Following a five-month deliberation which relied heavily on the interpretation of Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), todays judgement is that:

 “… A non-EU national in Mr Lounes situation is eligible for a derived right of residence under Article 21(1) TFEU, on conditions which must not be stricter than those provided for by the directive or the grant of such a right to a third-country national who is a family member of an EU citizen who has exercised his right of freedom of movement by settling in a Member State other than the Member State of which he is a national.”

The Court considered that a denial of Ms Ormazabal’s right to build a family life with her non-EEA spouse would amount to her being treated as British citizen who has never left the UK, with a disregard for her retained Spanish origin, and for her exercised right to freedom of movement within the EU, and stating that:

“…it would be contrary to the logic of gradual integration in the host Member State that is inherent in Article 21(1) TFEU to hold that EU citizens in Ms Ormazabal ’s situation are to be deprived of the right to a normal family life in the host Member State because they have sought, by becoming naturalised in that Member State, to become more deeply integrated in that State.”

The outcome of this case has been greatly anticipated, as it sets a precedent for other cases involving dual nationality citizens and the disparities between EU and UK law in relation to marriage ahead of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.