A record 28 million people are in work in Britain. But as employment figures soar, so do the number of workers on the fiddle.
From ‘sweethearting’ and ‘dipping’ to ‘blocking’ and ‘grazing’, Staff From Hell exposes the cunning techniques being used across the country by employees prepared to break the law to top up their wages.
The cameras also shadow a security expert on a stakeout as he tries to crack a warehouse scam, reveal a pilfering postman at work, and the programme lays bare the staggering greed of a head teacher who used the school budget to fund a luxury lifestyle.
But theft is not the only way employees upset bosses – Staff From Hell also reveals what happens when they turn violent, including the nanny who beat up her boss and the salesman who stabbed his employer.
Plus, the relatives of an elderly woman who caught her carers putting talcum powder in her mouth voice their disgust. And in his first full-length interview, the undercover reporter who worked as a servant to the Queen tells the programme why he was the staff member from hell as far as Her Majesty and Britain’s security services are concerned.
With up to 50 per cent of their losses coming from staff theft, small UK businesses invest heavily in security to combat the problem. Staff From Hell tracks security expert Paul Burton and his team of undercover spies at a warehouse where disappearing stock is costing the company up to £70,000 a year. And Martin Holles, who has built up an intimate knowledge of employee theft running a CCTV systems company, explains the methods they use to rip off their employers.
"We’ve definitely seen it all, from the youngest to the oldest, ways of getting money, ways of defrauding their boss," he tells the programme.
"Does anything surprise me? No definitely not."
Investing in a security system proved worthwhile for professional photographer Brian Ollier. But when he installed eight CCTV cameras he was more concerned about protecting his Cheshire business from burglars and vandals than from his postman… Staff From Hell shows the footage that exposed the postie’s second-class service.
It took more than CCTV footage to seal the fate of head teacher Colleen McCabe who stole tens of thousands of pounds from the London school where she taught. Former colleagues and pupils tell the programme how they feel cheated by the ex-nun who lived the high life at the expense of their school.
And detectives who led the investigation into her crimes explain how she tried to lie about her spending, which ultimately reached up to £8,500 a month.
Det Sgt Richard Ward says: "She spent £71 at boots on cosmetics and when asked about this she said, ‘Oh well it must have been for a drama class at the school.' And then we looked at the actual spend and it was at 10.30pm at Boots at Stansted Airport on route to a holiday to Malta."
A former public relations executive tells the programme how her brush with a violent nanny led to her to give up her glamorous career and stay at home to care for her young son full-time.
"She just came out and charged at me. She just went completely mad and like a wild animal," she says about the moment she asked her employee to repay money she owed.
At the opposite end of the age range, Lucy Neal’s family discovered that care for the elderly can also fall short of acceptable standards. When Lucy began behaving oddly, they became suspicious and decided to secretly film the carers who were employed to look after her. Staff From Hell shows the tapes that shocked Lucy’s family .
Lucy’s daughter Lucille says: "If people are sent in to look after Mum you automatically think they are caring people don't you? But unfortunately that’s not always the case."
"What I saw on the tape. I think it will be in my mind forever. Mum was treated so roughly, cruelly," she adds.
Confronting an employee about an alleged theft is never going to make for a cosy meeting, but businessman Robin Craddock didn’t expect to end up in hospital with stab wounds after a showdown with his salesman ended in an ambush.
"You cannot perceive that anybody would basically try and kill somebody because they lost their job," says Robin.
And the undercover reporter whose Royal expose embarrassed the Queen and both the UK and US governments describes the astonishing level of access he had as a servant for the Windsors. He tells the programme how security lapses in the recruitment process enabled him to get the job in the first place. Plus, he reveals the truth about the Royal corgis’ diet.... Read more.