'Morally reprehensible' | Ex-cop lied about mum's death to get time off work

Ex-cop lied about mum's death to get time off work

A former police officer has been banned from ever working the service again after a misconduct hearing heard she lied about her mother’s death in order to get time off work.

The hearing at Greater Manchester Police HQ was told that former Bury PC Melissa Hodson informed her supervisors that her mother had been taken ill in May 2021 and she needed time off for hospital visits. 

She then told colleagues that her mother had died and, in September 2021, that her mother’s house had been burgled. 

All of her statements were later proved to be false following an investigation by GMP’s Professional Standards Branch.

Hodson admitted her actions amounted to gross misconduct in a letter submitted prior to the accelerated misconduct hearing held on 7 September 2023.

She only avoided being sacked because she quit the force, but Chief Constable Stephen Watson ruled she would have been dismissed had she not resigned, saying her 'conduct was morally reprehensible'. 

CC Watson added: “She made a series of untrue statements to her supervision - culpability in this case is high, her actions were deliberate and persistent.

“Her actions bring the profession into disrepute and inevitably damage public confidence in policing. 

“It also damages the trust colleagues have in each other – that trust has been irretrievably shattered.” 

Hodson, who had been on restricted duties from February 2022 until her resignation in July that year, was also added to the College of Policing Barred List.

Lying to get time off

Every employee relishes a little extra time off work. Whether it’s a bank holiday weekend or making use of their employer’s holiday buy-back scheme for a few more days off, there are plenty of opportunities for workers to grab some extended R&R.

But would your employees go as far as Hodson did, and lie about the death of a loved one? It seems she is not alone in having conjured such a horrible lie.

Read more from us

An employment lawyer recently told HR Grapevine: “I once had a client who had an employee who faked his daughter's death to get some compassionate leave. 

“He had behaved suspiciously and (feeling understandably rather uncomfortable) they asked him for a death certificate. He produced what you would find as the first image if you Google "fake death certificate". 

“When confronted, he accepted he'd made up having a daughter and her death.”

Worker creates fake family

How about creating fake children to exploit the law instead? That’s exactly what another employee claims to have done.

Submitting a ‘confession’ to Twitter account @Fesshole, an anonymous man admitted to creating fake children in order to take paternity leave. 

“I’ve enjoyed statutory paternity leave for four out of the last five years,” he wrote, adding: “I’m single and don’t have any kids.”

Adding context as to how he gets away with the con, he explained: “Work has never checked for proof of an actual baby, but just to be safe I have a Googled random baby as my phone screensaver and change it every time I become a “Dad”.”

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to our comprehensive knowledge portal.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.