New Policy on Employment-Related Criminal Record Checks

Employers across British Columbia may wish to take note of new police policy on what information will be disclosed as part of police record checks.

The changes follow a highly critical report from the BC Information & Privacy Commissioner about the status of criminal record checks in the province. Among her top concerns was the disclosure of mental health information.

In apparent response to this concern, the new model policy prohibits the disclosure of mental health information as part of employment-related background checks. It also limits the disclosure of non-conviction information for individuals not working with children or vulnerable adults.

Although outstanding charges and convictions will continue to be disclosed, employers should expect to receive more limited information in response to future employment-related criminal record checks. Additionally, although the onus has been put on the police to disclose less information, employers should always be prepared to justify why a criminal record check is required as part of the job application process in the event of a complaint.

Read the BC Provincial Policing Model Policy Guidelines here.

Questions relating to the content of this article may be directed to Frances Doyle.