How did it happen?
A support worker was on long term sick leave with non-work related stress from the NHS Trust from June 2017 – February 2018.
The subject had not declared any secondary employment to the Trust as per the SOBC policy.
A social media post was seen of the subject working on a ward at another Trust.
The Anti-Crime Specialist also found evidence that the subject had reported as unfit to work at the Trust on the 3rd April 2016 – 5th April 2016 and 24th December 2016 – 6th January 2017.
The subject was signed off sick with a biceps injury sustained during MAYBO training and continued to work the secondary employer for the period 6th April 2018 to 15th June 2018 and 4th July to 5th September 2018.
The subject received a total of £6119.30 from the Trust, whilst on paid sick leave.
The subject failed to attend several absence management meetings with the line manager and HR at the Trust and completed shifts elsewhere on these dates.
The subject failed to attend several occupational health meetings with the Trust and completed shifts elsewhere on these dates.
The subject was interviewed under caution but denied any dishonesty or fraudulent actions. No efforts were made to repay the money and no remorse was shown by the subject.
Why did it happen?
The subject was in financial difficulty.
The subject had not declared their secondary employment so the Trust did not know they had been working whilst off sick.
Where were the outcomes of the case?
The subject resigned before the HR Team could take any disciplinary action.
The case was prepared for the CPS lawyer to review the evidence, public interest test and potential charges for the periods of working whilst on sick leave. The CPS lawyer charged the subject with the following offences:
- 5 offences of Fraud by False Representation contrary to section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006
- 2 offences of Fraud by Failing to disclose information contrary to section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006
The subject was summoned to Crawley Magistrates Court on 30th June 2021 where they pleaded guilty to all fraud offences.
The subject attended Crawley Magistrates Court on 21st July 2021 where they were sentenced to a 12 month community order, 5 days of rehabilitation activity requirements (aimed to reduce the prospect of reoffending), compensation of £6119.20 payable to the Trust which is currently being recovered and court costs of £220.
What Fraud prevention lessons were learned?
There is continued awareness of the Standards of Business Conduct policy and the requirement for all staff to declare secondary employment.
To monitor the performance of staff for any red flags with their behaviour, address through supervision and continue to ask the question around working elsewhere.
As the subject had made no efforts since interview to repay the money or show remorse the CPS saw no other alternative sanction (disciplinary not possible) but to charge them with fraud offences due to the sustained period of time they were on sick leave for.
Find out more about our Anti-Crime services.