Employee Theft or Fraud in the Workplace

Hiring an employee to fill a position within your workplace is one of the most trusting things a business owner or manager can do – you are entrusting staff with not only property and money but also, in the modern world one of the most valuable commodities, information! While theft by an employee is something you may think will never happen to you, if there is suddenly a loss of funds, materials or data that is unexplained, you may need to consider signs of employee theft. Global Investigations’ private investigators can offer sensible and cost effective solutions to both prevent and investigate employee theft.

There are many types of employee theft or workplace fraud. Most common fraud schemes fall into the following categories:

  • Asset misappropriation
  • Account fraud
  • Data theft
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Payroll fraud
  • Vendor mismanagement and fraud

How to prevent employee theft?

Employee theft cases UK are higher than you may think, with 18,784 incidents of employee theft being reported to police forces in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales since 2019. One of the first lines of defence in how to prevent employee theft is undertaking proper employee vetting. This ensures potential employees have no relevant criminal past and guarantees correct qualifications, which may lead you to entrust them with additional responsibilities. Not undertaking the proper checks could put your company at financial risk or perhaps your other employees.

Global Investigations is extremely proactive in national and international pre-employment screening. Since 2001, we have worked closely with our sister company, Advanced Vetting, and have not only helped many of our current clients with their employee vetting but have also managed to assist many new clients across a variety of different industries.

How to stop employee theft?

We are often asked how businesses can undertake legal action against employee theft or how to fire an employee for theft? We have worked with many employers throughout the UK and have helped businesses conduct the necessary employee theft investigations to provide enough evidence for either prosecution or termination of employment. While each case is different, all investigations have one factor is common – discretion is vital! Having over 25 years’ experience in the Private Investigations industry, all our private investigators are extremely discreet and are able to blend in to all manner of businesses and situations.

Theft of any sort is a serious accusation to make. If, as an employer, you suspect employee theft in the workplace, then obtaining evidence is a crucial part of the procedure. Once our team are apprised with the situation, they can suggest the best mode of action in dealing with the employee theft and take you through the employee theft investigation process which may involve one or more of the following avenues:

  • Static surveillance – monitoring a single location to gather evidence
  • Mobile surveillance – following an employee from one location to another to gather evidence of employee theft on tape
  • Mystery shopping / test purchasing – our agents can purchase or attempt to purchase stolen merchandise or information to gather evidence of employee data theft
  • Cyber Investigations – our open source intelligence (OSINT) and dark web investigations may assist to gain evidence of products or information being sold online.

What are employee rights when accused of thef?

While this is stressful and difficult time it is important to remember that employees have rights when accused of theft and you need to ensure that the matter is dealt with discreetly and via the necessary channels. The investigation must be seen to be fair and based on evidence alone.

Reporting employee theft

Reporting employment theft to the police is at the employer’s discretion. This may result in criminal proceedings or a fine or, in some cases, a prison sentence. Most cases of employee theft are however, dealt with internally, resulting in either disciplinary action or dismissal.

In 2015, theft by employee sentencing guidelines uk were updated and the new guidelines can be found on the below link.


Should you require assistance in investigating a possible case of employee theft or employee fraud, please contact a member of our team to discuss how we can help on 0208 287 7770.

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