Your client asks you to do something illegal, what should you do?

With the News of the World phone-hacking scandal still in the headlines, here we look at the question of what you should do if your client or boss asks you to do something illegal as part of your job, or you know that your Employer / Client is breaking the law.

We’re not talking about your Employer asking you to do things that are outside of your job description (it’s happened to us all – collect the dry cleaning, make the tea, buy a present for the bosses’ wife etc.) which can annoy you intensely, but actions that are illegal.

This type of scenario is obviously going to put you in a very difficult position as you work out how you should handle the situation and what the consequences may be, but it also may put you in a position where you are actually complicit in their illegal behaviour.

You can of course say no and walk away. However if you cannot or do not want to you can look for alternative non-illegal actions. You can do it and hope for the best.

Should you inform the authorities? Will you lose your job or your client if you do? Do you stay quiet? Do you try to have a conversation with someone in management (not all the management of the company may be aware of what is going on?) about your awareness and unhappiness at the situation. If the illegal activity is related to employment / contracts / recruitment then you should first try to talk to your Human Resources department / Trade Union – if you have one.

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The Human Resources Consultancy service for SME's in the UK creative industries

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