While it doesn’t apply to every single job available on the market, there may come a time when some people considering employment at a company may see a question on the job application, or be asked the same question in an interview, “Are you bondable?”
To some, this may be a confusing question, since most of the time when we hear the word “bond,” it’s usually in financial terms, talking about stocks, bonds and other financial assets that are more closely related to big business and investment. So what does it mean to be bondable, or to get bonded? And how is this affected by a criminal record? What do you have to do if you want to get bonded in Ontario? First, let’s get a basic introduction to what this word means for someone that’s looking to work.
When an employer talks about whether you are bondable, or can be bonded, what they are asking about is whether you qualify for something known as a “fidelity bond.” The less formal term for this is “honesty bond” or the much less flattering “employee dishonesty insurance.” It’s a special type of insurance policy that is offered to businesses.
If you are bondable or qualify for a fidelity bond, what this means is that the company now holds an insurance policy of sorts “against” you. In the event that you are found to have financially harmed a company through some form of theft or fraud, such as deliberately misreporting travel expenses, any financial damage incurred by the business through your actions will be paid for by the insurance company that has issued the fidelity bond. In other words, should you do something illegal that costs the company money, they have insurance that pays out the damage to them.
Not every company will require that a potential employee be bondable. Most of the time, companies such as fast food chains or retail outlets don’t have this requirement. However, for businesses where employees handle finances, especially that of clients, or work with clients in a capacity that allows for fraud or theft, such as a cleaning company that sends employees into client homes, there may be a requirement for this kind of bond. It is to protect the company from any liability that may arise from a dispute or incident.
How to Get Bonded In Ontario
Getting bonded in Ontario is relatively simple for most people. If you apply for a job that requires it, and the employer shows interest in taking you on, you will be asked whether you are bondable, or informed in some capacity that you will need to be bonded. At this point, if there are no issues, you simply indicate your ability to be bondable, and the employer will take out a bond on your behalf with their insurance company that will require certain government verifiable identification.
However, should you have a criminal record, you should indicate it at this point. While having a criminal record does not automatically negate you from being bondable, it will significantly increase the premiums that an employer would need to pay to have you bonded.
It’s not advisable to omit a criminal record from your employment application hoping that no one will check up on it. Once you’ve indicated that you are bondable and submit your identification, the insurance company which will issue the fidelity bond will then run their own background check. They want to ensure that you truly do not have a criminal record, at which point, your honesty will be called into question if you’ve lied. You would now likely be eliminated from employee consideration for withholding this information.
Depending on your skillset and the temperament of the employer, some may find it worthwhile to take on the extra premium in order to have you as a bonded employee, although most will not. In such cases, the best thing you can do for yourself to increase your attractiveness as an employee is to seek a Record Suspension that will eliminate the presence of your criminal record from a normal government background check.
For most people, getting bonded is more of a formality than anything else, some unnecessary extra paperwork to allow everyone a bit more peace of mind. But for people with a criminal record, bonding becomes a much more difficult process, and this seemingly innocuous formality can be a real barrier to entry for many good jobs. This is why it’s important to give yourself the best possible chance for employment opportunities and seek a Record Suspension.