The corona virus not only dominates the social life of many people. Working life has also changed noticeably since the beginning of the pandemic. Many employees have permanently switched to working from home. And while this step is viewed positively by the majority of employees, mistrust and resistance is stirring among many employers. In particular, the lack of control over working hours is a concern for supervisors. A recent case showed that this concern is not always unjustified.
Inadequate results were the first signs
Mr M. has been working for the company for around 5 years, which commissioned us at the end of 2021. In the previous months, the managing director had noticed that Mr. M.’s work performance had noticeably decreased. Results were either presented late or deviated noticeably from the usual quality. Initially, this was associated with the move to the home office. However, when Mr. M.’s work results continued to deteriorate, his superior became suspicious and commissioned our detectives to do the research.
The suspicion: working time fraud.
Difficult starting point
Since Mr. M. had completely shifted his professional activity to the home office, there were initially few options open to our detectives. At the beginning of the research, our investigators observed Mr M.’s residence. Shortly after the investigation began, the investigating detectives made a crucial observation. Mr M.’s wife left the apartment they shared on the morning of the second day. Since our detectives always include all eventualities in their research, a second detective who was deployed took up the pursuit of Ms. M. He followed her to the airport and found that she was boarding a plane to Milan. This observation should be crucial for our detectives. Further research revealed that Mr M.’s wife owns a company in Milan.
An email as an indication and with the call to the goal
With the newly obtained data, our investigators sent an email to the identified company. The answer came a little later. We received a reply from the employee Mr M.
With this evidence, our investigators set out to provide the decisive evidence. A single phone call finally got the job done. Our investigators called the company in Milan. The surprise of our investigators was manageable when a male voice answered. The person was also the employee of our client: Mr. M. Our investigators were also personally received by Mr. M. during a zoom conversation for more in-depth advice. The target person was clearly identified and convicted of working for the wife’s company during working hours.
With the company laptop to your own company
As it turned out later, Mr M. used the laptop provided by our client to handle the business activities of his wife’s company. Above all, communication was via this computer. But it was also used to process orders and coordinate deliveries. However, business seemed to be going so well that Mr M. was able to devote less and less time to his actual employer.
Such a case shows that our detectives are not without a chance, even in times of home office and flexible working, when it comes to detecting working time fraud, unfair competition or similar crimes. If you suspect that your employees are not always behaving honestly, we will help you professionally and discreetly. Call us for a non-binding consultation.