A solicitor with offices in Halifax is urging UK companies to do more to protect themselves against business fraud.
The warning comes from Aziz Rahman, senior partner at Rahman Ravelli, on the back of a report that shows only Colombia has worse levels of business fraud than the UK.
“Nine in ten businesses in the UK have experienced fraudulent behaviour of some kind, with theft of physical assets and misappropriation of funds,” he said.. “These statistics indicate a corporate fraud epidemic happening across numerous sectors.”
He said that by by taking right steps from an early stage, employers coud begin to root out incidents within their business, and prevent them from causing irreparable damage. To aid senior managers, Rahman Ravelli has produced an in-depth guide on how businesses can establish whistleblowing processes, and ensure it is done correctly.
Aziz added: “Where many businesses fail is the reinforcement of policies they already have in place. No employer likes to consider the likelihood of criminal, fraudulent activity within their workplace, and for such reasons, regular training on whistleblowing is neglected.
“It works on two levels; the encouragement of a positive and transparent whistleblowing policy reassures those who may, at some point, witness wrongdoing. It also makes those tempted by fraudulent activity aware that you enforce a zero-tolerance policy.”
And whilst the UK sits below Columbia on a ‘league table of shame’, things could be much worse, says Aziz – because the statistics are based on reported incidents only. “There is little indication as to what goes unreported. For this reason, businesses everywhere need to be putting whistleblowing policies in place.
“Whistleblowing is a term used to refer to people, often within a workplace, who expose information or activities that are deemed illegal or unethical. Whether an incident has taken place, is about to, or they think it will in the future, it is in the public interest for it to be reported and dealt with properly.”
Whistleblowers are protected by law, and as such are immune from any repercussions so long as they are a ‘worker’ within the UK.
Rahman Ravelli is available to help with advice about fraud in the workplace from its office in Halifax.