Job applicants lying on their application or on their CV

It is not uncommon for individuals applying for certain jobs to lie on their job application or curriculum vitae (CV).

It is currently estimated that at least one in four job applications contain some form of lie or false information.

Why do people provide false information on a job application or CV?

Currently within the United Kingdom the job market is becoming increasingly stagnated. Following from the start of the economic downturn the amount of redundancies and the rate of unemployment is especially high. The number of jobs on offer is also extremely low as companies are reluctant to take on the added expense of employing new staff.

Consequently it is extremely difficult to be successful in gaining a new job meaning that individuals will do anything to get ahead in the interview process, including providing false information on their applications and CV’s.

Some of this false information may be concerning previous roles in other jobs simply to bring a bit more importance to a previous job. However, some false information can be extremely serious.

Is it legal for my employer to dismiss me due to false information being provided on my job application or CV?

An employer has a legal right to fire an employee for lying on a job application or CV. The employer will have hired that person on the back of that information as well as having entered into a contract with that employee based on that information.

If some of the facts provided in the job application or the CV from that individual happen not to be true then the employee will have misrepresented themselves to the employer. Accordingly the contract will be considered invalid.

What must an employer do to be able to dismiss an employee on the grounds of false information being provided on an application or CV?

If an employee has lied on a job application or their CV, the employer must be able to prove in court that the false information that they provided was a contributing factor in the employee being provided with the job.

This will occur if the information provided by the employee to prove that they have the capabilities of performing the tasks of that job was in fact false information. If the employer can prove that they would not have hired that person without that specific bit of information then they will be able to prove that they have come to a fair decision in dismissing that employee.

Are there any other legal issues which I should be aware of if I have lied on my job application or CV?

An employer may be able to dismiss an employee upon finding false information on a job application or a CV and they may also be able to act in a way which was otherwise unlawful without the employee having any claim.

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For more information on:

  • What should I do if I have been dismissed unfairly but I have provided false information on my job application or CV?
  • If I have lied on my job application can I be sued for damages?
  • Is this a situation which has occurred recently?
  • What happened in this case?
  • Was the employer able to claim damages successfully?
  • On what ground was this claim brought?