Cast out – the importance of a truthful job application

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Posted in:HR and Employment|January 20, 2015 | Join the mailing list


What’s the worst that can happen if you lie on your CV or at a job interview? Well, you might find yourself on the receiving end of that old joke about job applicants – “he left us as he joined us, fired with enthusiasm”.

According to recent reports in the media, a 25 year old actress, Katie Redford, recently given a role as a 14 year old in the TV soap opera Coronation Street, has been told that her services are now no longer required after it was allegedly discovered that
she had claimed in the audition to be 19 years old, when in fact she was really 25.   

Honesty is a key component of the employment relationship and not telling the truth when you apply for a job can easily come back to haunt you in the future. If your employer discovers that something you claimed to be the case in your CV or at interview was
not in fact true, then, quite apart from any ethical considerations, your lack of honesty can easily lead to your employment coming to an end.

For the first two years of your employment in a new job, you do not have the protection of being able to bring an unfair dismissal claim (apart from in very limited circumstances) and this means that your employer can bring your employment to an end with little
risk of having to pay you any compensation. However, even if your employment has lasted for two years or more, if your employer then discovers that you lied at the very outset of your employment relationship with them, then this could still lead to you being
fairly dismissed for misconduct, provided that your employer promptly takes action once it has discovered the dishonesty and acts reasonably in choosing to dismiss and provided that a fair disciplinary process is followed prior to dismissal.

However, even if you are entirely truthful when drafting your CV and being interviewed, there are still other things about which you need to be careful these days when applying for a job.

The reports in the press about Katie Redford stated that information found on line had suggested that her age was in fact 25 and not 19 and any job applicant in our modern digital world needs to be careful about the information relating to them which is available
through the internet. Increasingly employers will search on line for any information they can find about someone applying to them for a job and it’s important for job applicants to be aware of this and for them to make sure, as best they can, that their “social
media footprint” is not something which is likely to cause them problems.

Cleansing your on-line profile is often not an easy task to carry out, but it’s worth checking when you make a job application exactly what information about you is accessible to any prospective employer by means an internet search. If, for example, there is
information or imagery available about you which is not in keeping with the image your prospective employer is likely to require of you as an employee, then you should do all you can to get that information or imagery removed as soon as possible and before
it causes you any difficulty or embarrassment or causes you not to get that job you always wanted.          

For more information about any of the above or for practical commercial advice on this or any other aspect of employment law, please contact
Nigel Crebbin of the Berg Employment Team on 0161 817 2817 or email him at
nigelc@berg.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter: @Berg_HR

(The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.)

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