We’ve all heard the anecdotes about people we know – friends, colleagues, even family – taking fake sick days, for everything from actual emergencies to the desire to extend a long weekend. But who would ever have thought that the demand for fake sick days would extend into a syndicate for creating fake medical certificates (MCs)?
This was the discovery that greeted Malaysian news portals, when it was revealed that the police had taken down a ring consisting of six people, including two civil servants, who had built a business out of faking MCs from private and government clinics. And while the news was a little bit amusing to the everyday Malaysian – of course there is a syndicate for people trying to play hooky from work – it also reveals a huge problem for employers. Coming off the heels of certain public figures faking their tertiary education qualifications, it appears to be a pattern that is difficult to break among Malaysian organizations.
While small-level fraud might be deemed by many to be an “excusable” form of fraud, it is actually emblematic of the deeper issue of trust and integrity in the workplace. From 2016-2018, 41% of Malaysian organizations experienced economic crime, with the top three most common means of fraud being business misconduct, misappropriation of assets and the old favourite – bribery and corruption. Price-Waterhouse-Cooper’s research also found that of the organizations surveyed, a staggering 19% had not conducted any risk assessment of their employees and businesses over the previous two years.
Fake degrees and fake MCs may seem like small fry when contrasted to systematic and continuous corruption in the workplace, but the root of the problem is the same, which is the organization’s need to trust that the people being hired for the job will conduct their work with accountability and integrity. Why begin a work relationship based on a lie and mistrust, especially when the potential for misconduct would mean great financial and reputational loss?
While implementing a strong corporate culture is one of the preferred tools by employers to curb such incidents, background screening is still an untapped resource in many industries. Certain high-risk industries such as the banking sector have made it part of their due diligence, but by and large, Malaysian employers have not utilised employee screening as part of the hiring process. This safe and convenient tool matches public records of the job candidate’s, is not invasive towards their privacy, and is able to assess the accuracy of the employee’s claims in their application.
In a time of uncertainty and a spreading sense of unease, information is power; information is safety; information is key. Arm yourself and unfold your blindfold with VerityPlusOnline.com.