Do basic pre-employment checks before confirming offer

A recent employment tribunal ruling highlights the importance of having a robust recruitment and selection process.  Only after an airline pilot started a position as a captain with West Atlantic UK Limited did the airline discover that he had lied on his application. Not only had he provided a false reference from a false email address he also had no previous experience as a captain. As an alternative to dismissal for gross misconduct, West Atlantic offered him the opportunity to resign ‘with immediate effect’, which he accepted.

However, he subsequently issued a claim for three months’ contractual notice pay, which West Atlantic refuted and counterclaimed for £4,725, the costs it had incurred in training him.

The employment tribunal dismissed the claim for notice paystating that the employer had arranged training based on his alleged experience. Had the airline known that he had no experience as a captain they may not have hired him and sothey succeeded in claiming the training costs. However this was a costly exercise which could have been avoided had they taken some precautions to minimise risk:

Don’t accept a reference from a personal email address. Arrange to speak with the referee, obtain their work email address and ensure all communication is via a professional address. Check their work profile to determine they exist.
Mind the gaps: If there are gaps in the applicant’s work history, ask why and obtain further information if necessary.
Ensure offers of employment are made subject to satisfactory references: This should be clearly stated in the offer letter. This will allow you to immediately withdraw any offer of employment should the candidate fail to provide a suitable reference. More importantly, if something comes to light after employment has already commenced, you will be able to rely on the wording in the offer letter to immediately terminate the employee’s contract without the need to provide contractual notice.

Privacy Policy



Powered by The Logic of Eight - Creative Media