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The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - or is it?
03 Apr 2017

Charlotte Hogg, who was tipped to be the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, resigned after it emerged she’d failed to disclose her brother’s role in the banking industry.

The 2008 Apprentice winner Lee McQueen enhanced his CV, pretending to have spent two years at university when he only stayed there four months. 

City barrister Dennis O'Riordan was suspended from the bar after claiming he had attended Oxford and Harvard universities when he hadn’t. 

They are three separate cases that underline a study claiming more than half the CVs they examined contained lies and inaccuracies.

Of course it’s down to candidates to be honest on their application forms or risk losing their jobs down the line but, if you’re an employer, how do you check if an applicant has been inventive with the truth?

There are legal restrictions about just how far you can delve when you’re doing background checks.

You can take up references or carry out more in-depth investigations such as criminal record checks but employers have to be careful they don’t fall foul of the Data Protection Act.

Here’s a handy employers’ checklist:

  • Does the vacancy require background checks?

  • If so, make sure the checks being carried out are appropriate and proportionate to the risks the employers faces in recruitment

  • Don’t apply background checks routinely – keep them for the roles that carry the highest area or risk

  • Let applicants know that background checks will be carried out and describe the process that will be used

  • Get permission for the release of third party information

  • Don’t keep information obtained through vetting or verification unless it relates to ongoing employment and make sure you keep within the regulations of the Data Protection Act

For further information, please contact our Employment law & HR team. Alternatively, read more about our Employment Law services.