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Reforms to Police Record Checks Coming into Force on November 1, 2018

July 20, 2018
by Israel Foulon LLP

Recent Publications

Krista Kais-Prial’s recent article entitled “Accommodating Chronic Illness in the Workplace: How to Support Employees for Success” was recently published in HR Professional magazine’s June 2018 edition. The article can be accessed here.

The Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 (“Act”), which was passed in December 2015, will become law on November 1, 2018. The Act will standardize the request and disclosure procedure for police record checks, and limit the type of information that can be released in order to prevent the disclosure of unnecessary information. Specifically, the Act will limit how police record checks can be requested, how a police service is to respond, as well as the proper scope and manner of disclosure.

The Act will apply to employers who require a police record check to determine suitability for employment. Employers requesting criminal record checks will no longer be provided with information about mental health orders or non-conviction records, except in limited circumstances, and employees will have more control over the process of the release of information to a potential employer.

Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015

  1. There will be three types of police record checks (s. 8(1)) (see the table below regarding authorized disclosure for each type of check):
    • Criminal record checks;
    • Criminal record and judicial matter checks; and
    • Vulnerable sector checks.
  2. A police record check in respect of an individual will not be conducted unless the request contains the individual’s written consent to the particular type of check (s. 8(3)).
  3. Non-conviction information in response to a vulnerable sector check request will only be provided if specific criteria for exceptional disclosure is met (e.g., the alleged victim was a child, etc.) (s. 10).
  4. The results of a police record check must only be disclosed to the individual who is the subject of the request (s. 12(1)). If the individual provides written consent after receiving the results of a check about himself or herself, the results may be provided to another person or organization (s. 12(2)).
  5. The results of a police check that are provided to a person or organization with the individual’s consent under s. 12(2) must only be used or disclosed for the purpose for which it was requested or as authorized by law (s. 13).
  6. Any person or organization that willfully contravenes the Act is guilty of an offence (s. 19(1)). A person convicted of an offence may be fined up to $5,000 (s. 19(2)).

Legal Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation. Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.