Accused of a criminal offence… Do I need to inform my Employers?

Criminal accusations can arise is two ways:

1. Outside of the workplace
2. Inside the workplace

In this blog, we consider whether you are obliged to inform your employers of an offence that has arisen outside of work.

Are you obliged to inform your employers?

The general guidance is that you are expected out of openness to advise your employer, even if it does not directly relate to your work. However, this statement should be treated with caution.

Factors to consider before making a disclosure:

1.Nature of the offence;
2.Specific facts involved ;
3.Moral issues to disclose;
4.Whether the investigation has a direct impact on your ability to work; and
5.Whether there is a risk or danger to anyone in your workplace.

Other factors to consider:

1. Check your employment contract. Some contracts will contain a clause that even if you are not convicted of an offence, you should inform your employer.
2. The possibility that anyone else would make a disclosure to employers.

You should be aware that if you belong to a profession, you may be under an professional obligation to disclose an accusation or investigation to your governing body, along with your employers.

This is a very complex and sensitive area and appropriate actions will largely depends on the facts of the case. It is important that you consider all the factors with your legal team in detail before making a disclosure.

What will my employers do?

The most common misconception is that employers can automatically dismiss an employee because of a criminal allegation or conviction. This is incorrect. Employers must consider the individual circumstances of the case. To properly do so both parties will need to seek specialist legal advice.

Often employers can be supportive and helpful.

If you do inform your employers, your legal team will be able to advise and assist you in how, when and how to appropriately making such disclosure. The legal team at Garrick Law will be able to draft in specialist’s in your professional field if necessary.

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