One In Ten Admit They Would Lie To Potential Employers About Driving Offences

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As the economic downturn continues to drive up unemployment, a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Swinton, one of the UK's leading car insurance retailers, has found that one in ten UK jobseekers would not declare penalty points to a potential employer. Younger job seekers were found to be the most likely to lie, with a quarter of 18 - 25 year olds admitting they would not disclose any points on their licence when applying for a job.

We therefore urge employers not to use penalty points as a blunt tool for shortlisting, especially as many people with points accrued through speed cameras are safe and responsible drivers. Swinton's own recruitment policy reflects this and our employees are not asked to declare points on their licence when applying.

The potential scale of such deception is huge. Swinton estimate that over six million of drivers in the UK now have points on their licence, and that the UK's 6,000 speed cameras record over two million drivers speeding each year. Subsequently an unblemished driving licence is becoming increasingly rare, especially compared to the last major recession (in 1994 there were only 31 speed cameras in the UK*) - but Swinton fear that having points on a license may still be viewed as a major point of difference by potential employers.

Swinton believe the reasons employers choose to discriminate against applicants who do declare points on their license include concerns about the extra costs of car insurance to cover pointed drivers and a perception that candidates with points are, by default, 'reckless' motorists. The fact that the economic downturn has seen a rapidly growing number of people applying for a decreasing number of vacancies also means some employers are looking for crude ways to shortlist competing candidates with similar skills and experience.    

However not declaring driving offences could prove very costly to businesses as Steve Chelton, Swinton Insurer Development Manager explains:

"If a member of staff enrolled on a company car scheme fails to notify their employer of penalty points on their licence, they are putting the company's insurance policy in jeopardy should they have to make a claim. But this research suggests that such an occurrence is set to become far more common, especially as unemployment rises and people become more desperate to secure a job. To avoid this happening candidates need to be honest and understand that any declaration of points will not lead to automatic rejection.

"We therefore urge employers not to use penalty points as a blunt tool for shortlisting, especially as many people with points accrued through speed cameras are safe and responsible drivers. Swinton's own recruitment policy reflects this and our employees are not asked to declare points on their licence when applying."

Swinton was also the first UK company to stop automatically penalising drivers for gaining points resulting from speed cameras and set up a dedicated unit last year to deal with the increasing demand for car insurance for pointed drivers.

For further information please contact Anoushka Foster or Richard Bond SKV PR on 0161 838 7770 or email anoushka.foster@skvpr.co.uk

*The History And Development Of Speed Cameras In Great Britain, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, October 2003.
Notes to Editors:
YouGov questioned 1,986 GB adults on behalf of insurance brokers Swinton. The interviews were carried out online between the 3rd and 5th November 2008.
About Swinton

  •     With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  •     Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  •     Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  •     With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates.

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Anoushka Foster
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