As South Africans, we all know how hard it can be to find work. Almost a third of our working-age population is unemployed. In the second quarter of 2019, the number of jobless people rose by an additional 455 000, bringing the total to 6.65 million, the highest in almost 20 years.
It’s a desperate situation, and we all know what they say about desperate times calling for desperate measures. It’s not surprising then, given these figures, that South African employers see hundreds of CVs every year that have been “doctored” or “creatively compiled” to give the candidate a better shot at securing a job interview.
This is not a new practice, but consequences for individuals who were found out were never particularly severe. However, thanks to a brand-new amendment to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act, all that is about to change.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently signed into law the NQF Amendment Act of 2019. In terms of Section 32B of this amendment, it is now compulsory for all employers, educational institutions, organs of state and skills development providers to verify all qualifications through the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). If a potential employee is found to have lied on his or her CV about their qualifications, experience, skills – or anything else for that matter – they could face a significant fine, and/or a maximum of five years in prison!
And the new law doesn’t just apply to your CV – you have to come clean on your social media profiles too. Lying on LinkedIn or fibbing on Facebook could land you in just as much hot water as on an official job application.
The consequences of inflating your qualifications just got real.
What Is The Offenders’ Register?
In addition to calling out offenders, the new amendment also enables and authorises the national authority to create, and continuously update, a register for all those found guilty of misrepresenting their qualifications or submitting fraudulent qualifications. Guilty parties could end up with a permanent record on this register.
The new law clearly means business, and the time for thinking a little “CV fudging” won’t hurt anyone is now past. Yes, it’s tough out there. Jobs are few, and the people wanting them are many. But the new amendment means things just got a lot tougher for those of us tempted to be a little creative with the truth.
So, do the opposite of what Nike advises: Just Don’t Do It!
JGL Forensic Services is a multidisciplinary team of experienced forensic accounting and investigation professionals. We strongly believe in the rule of law and the scientific method as it applies to forensic accounting and investigation. Talk to us in confidence, and let’s work together to prevent corporate corruption and fraud.