26 August 2019 by and Employment Alert

Honesty is the best policy: Possible jail time for CV fraudsters

On 13 August 2019, the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, No 12 of 2019 (the Act) was signed into law. While the Act is not yet in effect, when it comes into effect, lying on a CV could result in prison time, a fine or both.

Section 32B(3) of the Act provides that “A person is guilty of an offence, if such person falsely or fraudulently claims to be holding a qualification or part-qualification registered on the NQF or awarded by an education institution, skills development provider, QC or obtained from a lawfully recognised foreign institution.”

In terms of s32B(6), any person convicted of an offence in terms of s32B(3) is liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

The amendments mean that fraudulently misrepresenting one’s qualifications or part-qualifications can have very serious consequences, over and above the possibility of being dismissed for misrepresentation and/or dishonesty.

Having regard to the broad manner in which s32B(3) is drafted, the offence is not limited to misrepresentations on CVs alone. It can include, for example, fraudulent misrepresentations on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

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