Ways to Prevent the Rise of employee theft in the Workplace 

For both employers or business owners and employees alike, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has produced a number of problems. According to recent data, there has been an increase in employee theft, which was another unexpected effect of the crisis.

Types of employee theft

Through a Freedom of Information request, the insurance Zurich has discovered that there has been a 19% increase in the number of employees in England and Wales who have been detected stealing from their employer since 2021. Thefts of office supplies or everyday things like toilet paper are the most frequent kind of theft in the workplace. As a result, analysts are connecting the rise in workplace theft to the difficulties brought on by the cost-of-living problem, such as the inability to pay for necessities. Along with the rise in small-scale theft, more significant crimes like the theft of intellectual property and the embezzlement of corporate cash or company property have also increased. 

Since theft at work frequently involves small-ticket products, it can go unnoticed for years, but the ongoing expenses can build up, particularly when companies are under pressure to control costs. Employers may have consequences beyond just financial ones when employees steal. If it is thought that theft occurs and workers steal frequently and investigations are time-consuming, employee morale may suffer.

Employers would wish to think about risk management strategies given the dim prospects for a quick resolution to the cost of living problem (which is expected to last through the end of 2024).

A single payment

Many firms have decided to provide their employees a one-time cost of living payment in order to reduce some of the financial stress brought on by the crisis. It is a strategy that has received generally positive feedback from workers and can aid in staff retention, especially in industries with high turnover because of pay scales.

Examining policies and practices for big and small businesses 

Employers should take advantage of the current increase in workplace theft to assess their disciplinary policies and procedures, as well as their policies and procedures for dealing with theft and thieves, and determine whether their property is vulnerable. The expectations for employees should be outlined in disciplinary policies, which should also make it clear that theft will not be permitted and that any incidences will be properly investigated. It should be highlighted that the employer will not hold off on reporting more serious thefts to the police.

Disciplinary action

It’s crucial to act consistently from case to case if it becomes necessary to take disciplinary action against an employee. In situations where it is deemed necessary to impose a disciplinary consequence up to and including dismissal, it will be crucial to follow a fair disciplinary procedure and terminate them. 

Contact us

Please contact us at 0808 178 7292 if you have any questions about one-time cost-of-living adjustments, evaluating and amending your rules, or disciplinary actions to prevent employee theft.

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