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Employers must seek personal information disclosure consent from candidates prior to conducting pre-employment background checks. Additionally, they must state why they need the information. Note that, some criminal information records cannot be released without a voluntary and informed consent from candidates. Hence, employers must provide detailed consent forms that state the type of background checks to be conducted and why they are necessary. Employers are allowed to use and disclose candidates’ personal information for the purpose they consented to only.
Potential Employee Disclosure
Before conducting employment background checks, employers offer candidates an opportunity to declare relevant criminal offenses and convictions that have not been pardoned. This is done by filing an upfront consent form, and the information is later verified through checking fingerprint records. The disclosed criminal convictions must be confirmed by the employer.
Candidate Appropriateness to a Position
All pre-employment background checks must relate to the position for which an employer is seeking to fill. For instance, employers must conduct professional licensing checks before hiring medical, legal and accounting experts. The need and purpose for the background checks must be defined before or when the information is being collected. This is because the collection of personal information is limited to information supporting the stated purpose. Also, employers should conduct employment background checks in Canada when they have extended a conditional employment offer or just before making an offer.
Candidates have the right to challenge the completeness and accuracy of gathered information and ensure that it is amended appropriately. If an organization fails to make the necessary changes, a candidate may attach a statement of disagreement and offer the statement to any other organization in possession of the inaccurate information. If a candidate is not satisfied with the manner in which an organization is handling the disputed information, they have a right to file a complaint with the OPCC (office or the privacy commissioner of Canada). The commissioner investigates the complaint and offers a report. Candidates can use the report to file the complaint in court where the organization is ordered to make the right corrections and state the steps it will take to make the alterations.
Despite the type of personal information organizations require, they must adhere to the privacy act and the personal information protection and electronic documents act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA is a privacy law that sets rules on how private organizations gather, use and disclose personal information required for commercial activities. It applies to all commercial activities involving international and inter-provincial data as well as the transfer of personal information. The privacy act governs how personal information is used by the federal government and public sector in general. It covers background screening where personal information controlled by government institutions can be disclosed without a candidates consent. Note that, other laws like human right laws and consumer reporting laws related to performing pre-employment background checks but are not part of the privacy act or PIPEDA.
Province of Hire
Employers must consider and adhere to province-specific data privacy and human rights laws. Some provinces have legislation like PIPEDA that must be followed when conducting pre-employment background checks. For instance, Quebec has the Quebec private sector act while Alberta has a legislation known as PIPA. Other provinces are yet to enact province specific privacy laws meaning that, PIPEDA is used to regulate background checks.
Final Remarks Employee competency, trustworthiness, capability, and character are some of the crucial factors that employers seek. These are personal factors that can build or ruin an organization. As such, human resource executives are tasked to ensure that organizations work with the best candidates who offer the aforementioned. Employment background check in Canada allow human resource executive to verify a candidate’s competency through examining their work history, trustworthiness by determining whether the information provided is right and character by examining criminal records.