Polygraph Testing in the Workplace

Employers are frequently faced with fraudulent or criminal activities without knowing exactly where, how and by whom it was committed. It could have a disastrous impact on the employer’s business. One way to figure this out is by doing Polygraph Testing.
Polygraphs are sometimes referred to as a lie detector test and are a device that calculates and documents various bodily responses to questions asked by an examiner, for example, blood pressure, pulse, breathing, body temperature and skin conductivity. This can be based on the concept that false answers will generate distinctive measurements which are usually discovered by the polygraph machine.
Is Polygraph Testing the employment environment Legal?
In South Africa, we do not have clear guidelines governing the polygraph industry, or even the principles relating to testing. No mention is made in any labour regulations to polygraph testing either. We are however not entirely devoid of security. The fundamentals that cover, and have been accepted by our courts concerning polygraph testing, is produced from chapter two of the Bill of Rights included in the Constitution. Section 10 claims that each person has the legal right to inherent dignity as well as the right to individual dignity honoured and protected. A person may consequently not be physically compelled to subject himself to a polygraph test.
Why do Employers use Polygraph Testing?
Usually, employers use polygraph testing to analyst specific incidents where staff had access to the property which is the subject of investigation, and there is a good hunch that this employee was mixed up in the event.
SPS testing on its own can’t be used to establish the guiltiness of a worker. It is suggestive of fraud solely, and the precision relies on the examiner as well as the control questions asked.
Nonetheless, a polygraph test might be considered where alternative supporting evidence is offered, provided that there are plain facts on the skills of the polygraphist and assuming that it is evident from the information that the test was completed as outlined by satisfactory and recognizable criteria.
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