Employee sneakily topped up her annual leave

EVERYONE wants extra holidays, but one employee took things too far by sneakily topping up her annual leave balance.

Margaret Clegg worked as an administration manager with Haines Mechanical Ltd from February 2008 until January last year and in that time she added an extra 137.06 hours to her annual leave entitlements.

A new manager noticed discrepancies and a reconciliation was done of Clegg's annual leave, which revealed it was well over-accrued, the Mackay Magistrates Court was told.

The annual leave had not been cashed in by Clegg as the company had discovered her activities before her leave was paid out, prosecutor Michael Ball said.

A number of audits were performed that showed the extra leave had been manually added to Clegg's annual entitlement balance in 28 separate transactions.

"The estimated value of the leave would be $6458.27," Mr Ball said.

There was also an allowance for superannuation, and if it had been included the total would have been $7055.66, he said.

Clegg was confronted about her actions, which she initially denied, and said there were three others who had access to the payroll system. She was terminated from her position with the company and did not receive any of her leave entitlements, the court was told.

It was found during an investigation that Clegg was the only person present in the workplace on all 28 times her leave was adjusted. She pleaded guilty to fraud.

Defence solicitor Antoinette Morton, of Morton Lawyers, said Clegg, 58, has no criminal history and extremely minor traffic history.

Clegg has been employed by the company for many years before the offence and the four references tended on her behalf spoke of highly of her good character.

Ms Morton described the offending as an anomaly on her otherwise good record.

Magistrate Ross Risson said through Clegg's dishonest actions she had lost more than she gained.

She was fined $1000. No conviction was recorded.



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