Resist the urge for hype says lawyer

19th July 2013

A Midlands-based lawyer who specialises in employment law has issued a warning after two new employment tribunal rulings centred on inaccurate CVs.

Simon Bond, a lawyer with Higgs & Sons employment team, says the two cases show the need for employers to check CVs and for employees to resist the urge to hype up their qualifications or even lie.

Mr Bond, who has spent many years advising organisations on HR policy and employment law, said the latest rulings sent a clear message to both employers and workers.

"In one case an accountant was sacked on the spot after the company she worked for found she had lied on her CV.

"A criminal records check showed inconsistencies in the employees' personal details and she was suspended while more checks were carried out. These exposed further issues and she was sacked after a disciplinary hearing."

Mr Bond said the accountant lost an unfair dismissal case after the tribunal ruled the company could have no trust in the claimant.

"All recruiters dread finding out that someone has lied on their CV. But the ruling shows that employers do have grounds to dismiss new recruits if they follow a fair procedure.

"Employers can protect themselves by making confirmation of permanent employment subject to background checks. They can also have a probation period, during which  any deficiencies or concerns  may become apparent."

In the second case the tribunal rejected a race discrimination claim from a man who applied for a job with Virgin Atlantic using both a British and African name.

His first application in his real, African name, was rejected, but his second attempt using a British name was put forward to the second stage.

Mr Bond said the tribunal ruled against the claim because the two applications were not identical and the second application included details of more relevant experience.But he said the  case highlighted the need for companies to set out clear criteria when recruiting.

"Employers should set out clearly the criteria for the job in advance and ensure that all  those considering applications are judging from the same criteria.

"Equal opportunities monitoring forms should be detachable and removed before they are put in front of individuals sifting job applications".

Higgs & Sons works from two offices in the Black Country - Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill and Kingswinford. The firm employs more than 200 people, which includes over 100 specialist lawyers.

For specialist advice for your business relating to employment issues, contact Simon on 0845 111 5050 or email


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