Express Pardons

January 17, 2011 09:02 ET

Experts, Express Pardons Note Growing Practice of Criminal Record Checks for Employment Having an Impact on Hiring and the Economy-Proving Criminal Pardons Process Key

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) -

Editor's note: there is a video associated with this press release.

During the recession, mass layoffs left businesses and employees reeling. Now, as the Canadian economy experiences gradual recovery, an increase in hiring is taking place. The talent pool once flooded with candidates is becoming shallow, forcing companies to bid on a dwindling resource of available staff.

Compounding the issue and impacting the economy overall is the barrier of criminal records. Employees with criminal records are nothing new. In fact over 3 million Canadians (10% of the population) have a criminal record. Most of these records are for small offences, mistakes made years ago that people have tried to put behind them. They were able to land a job when record checks were not routine, but now, after being laid off, they find themselves in a hiring environment where criminal record checks are the norm.

Modern criminal record systems have made it quick and easy for employers to access information and many have adopted checks as part of their standard pre-employment screening practices, using companies like Reliability Screening. This means that hundreds of people that were once employed are now considered 'unemployable'.

Both candidates and business suffer, as does the economy overall - jobs cannot be filled, projects completed and business cannot happen at a necessary pace.

What can companies do to counter the situation?

Experts, Express Pardons, warn that while employers may be tempted in some cases to adopt a "more is better" approach to the collection of background information, that strategy should be tempered by the recognition that record checks will slow or in some cases prevent the hiring levels needed.

Businesses should consider:

  • Whether a person's criminal history is relevant to a prospective job.
  • The candidate's accomplishments in the years following a criminal conviction.
  • Would a pardon help to clear this candidate as a potential hire?

How do pardons help?

Pardons are granted in Canada, through a thorough process of evaluation by which a former offender is deemed 'pardoned' and their record erased. This is ideal for those with minor offences that have gone on to lead productive lives. Once a pardon is granted, criminal records are no longer visible on record checks.

Ainsley Muller, Director of Business Development at Express Pardons said, "Pardons are a method that could be considered by HR managers and candidates as a way to counter the issue of criminal record checks preventing employment, in a manner that is safe, legal and would still uphold safety and business concerns."

Since the inception of Pardons in 1970, 96% of those who received a pardon have not reoffended. In Canada, over 400,000 pardons have been issued since 1970, the majority of which for minor offences.

To view the video associated with this press release, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92PR4n8zhwA

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