Sunday, October 04, 2009

Internal theft in Polish firms skyrockets

From: Polskie Radio
Over 90 percent of Polish companies report losses from internal theft – much of which is prompted as revenge for redundancy, according to a report by Euler Hermes, a French credit insurance company.

The Euler Hermes report shows that the economic crisis has caused dramatic increase in the amount of internal theft and losses that companies report. One year ago, the figure measured about 50 percent of firms tested, this year, 92 percent of companies in Poland report losses due to employees stealing.

“We expected growth. But, I am shocked at how high [the number] is,” claims Adam Ambrozik, director of the Department of Enterprise in the Confederation of Polish Employers.

This week alone has show two extraordinary examples of internal thievery: 600,000 zloty (142,000 euro) worth of goods were stolen from the shipping warehouse at the Katowice airport and 150 televisions were stolen from the Sharp factory near Torun, central Poland, by employees.

“Not only is the amount of situations quickly going up, but also the value of goods being stolen,” says Bartosz Pikula, head of the risk management office at Euler Hermes.

The report shows that fifteen percent of firms note annual internal losses of over 200,000 zloty (almost 50,000 euro) and the number of firms showing losses between 50,000-100,000 zloty increased from 15 percent in 2008 to 35 percent this year.

Pikila at Euler Hermes attributes the great jump in losses to the economic recession. According to Pikula, employees find their personal debt increasing but salaries decreasing, driving many to find a means to make up the difference. Additionally, the idea of revenge for being fired has become more popular.

“Layoffs or denying pay raises related to cutting costs has become reason enough for employees to steal from their company,” claims Pikula.