A surgeon who lied in order to land an £84,000 a year role has been convicted of fraud.
Sudip Sarker told the interview panel that he has performed about 85 keyhole procedures, 51 of which he claimed he had performed independently. In reality, he had only performed six. He was subsequently hired into the lucrative position.
He was dismissed after an investigation into concerns about patients who had suffered complications and died while they were under his care.
Warning to employers
All employers, regardless of size and sector, need to not take what they have been told by an applicant or a recruitment agency at face value. Some lies may be easy to spot, but others may seem plausible, so it’s vital to take all the necessary pre-employment checks to ensure that applicants are qualified and skilled to undertake the job role.
Depending on the nature of the role and the industry you are in, you may decide to make the job conditional on certain requirements such as:
Many employers will make the job conditional on at least one reference from a former employer.
In some sectors, such as financial services, a reference is required to conduct certain functions.
- Qualification check
If the role requires a specific qualification, you should ask to see proof that they have attained this qualification, for example you may ask to see degree certificates. This is particularly important in those industries where a professional qualification or membership of a professional institute is essential to undertake that role.
- Health checks
Depending on the nature of the role, employers may ask for a health check or medical questionnaire. For example, an employer will need to carry out an eye test for someone who will be working as a driver.
An employer may wish to obtain a medical report about a prospective employee to see if they have a health issue or physical disability that affects their ability to do the job. To do this, you must comply with the strict conditions laid down in the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988.
Remember that as a general principle, it is not permissible for an employer to ask a job applicant any questions about their health or disability until they have been offered a job. There are certain exceptions to this, so seek legal advice to explore this further.
- Restriction from previous job
Employers may also be concerned about any post-termination restrictive covenants from the employee’s existing Contract of Employment. These types of covenants are generally found in the contracts of senior employees and may prevent an employee from joining a rival employer for a fixed period after they leave their current employer (known as a non-compete restrictive covenant).
- DBS checks
An employer or an organisation engaging volunteers may request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to find out someone’s criminal record when assessing their suitability for positions of trust. For employers in certain sectors, such as education, social work and healthcare, this is critical to prevent unsuitable people working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
You will need to establish whether a role is eligible for a DBS check before submitting an application.
All employers need to ensure that the applicant is legally allowed to work in the UK before they hire them. If they have time-limited permission to work in the UK, you will need to carry out a follow-up check.
To prevent any claims of discrimination, you should carry out these checks on all your applicants. Do not make assumptions or determine whether a check is necessary on factors such as their accent, ethnic origin or the time they have lived in the UK.
To find out about what to do if you catch someone lying on their CV, read more here