An issue that has been around for a while has been employees misrepresenting their qualifications to their employer. This has adverse consequences for the employer as the employee often proves incapable of doing the required job – this leads to wasted time in disciplinary hearings, dismissal and then a new recruiting cycle begins. That’s in addition to all the damage that an underqualified  employee can do the employer’s business before his or her duplicity is exposed.

This has been worsened by fake institutions which offer people fraudulent qualifications.

The statutory amendment and its wide reach

In a move to address the situation, a statutory amendment makes employees who mislead employers and fraudulent academic institutions liable for up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine. The amending Act has been signed into law but will only come into effect on a date or dates still to be determined.

The changes when in effect will provide employees and fake learning institutions with a strong incentive to be honest in the future.

So broad is the legislation that anyone can report to SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority) any employee or any institution peddling false qualifications.

For example, if X learns from Twitter that Y has faked his or her credentials, then SAQA is bound to investigate if X reports Y to them. This can result in Y being prosecuted and facing prison time.

This all heralds good news for employers with its potential to both reduce their risk of under-qualified employees damaging their businesses, and to save them considerable administration time.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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