FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2023
OTTAWA, ON – Ontario needs to make it easier and more attractive for employers to consider hiring people who have criminal records. Having a job is a key factor in leaving crime behind, according to Cardus research, yet criminal records create huge barriers to finding work. In a new policy paper, Employing Ontarians with Criminal Records: Policies to Correct Labour Market Misconceptions, published by Ontario 360, Cardus recommends five ways to improve the job prospects of folks who’ve served their sentences and want to begin productive employment:
- Mandate police and other criminal-record providers to include positive and counterbalancing general information about the employability of people with criminal records, in the results of record checks.
- Give people with criminal records the option of adding verified, individual-specific information about the positive aspects of their interactions with the criminal justice system to the results of their criminal record checks.
- Establish a provincial government-backed bonding program to insure employers, at no cost to them, for some risk associated with hiring people with criminal records.
- Introduce a provincial government general wage subsidy for employers who hire people with criminal records.
- Build public support for pro-employment policies for people with criminal records, using provincial government communications efforts.
“We need to make sure that people with criminal records have a chance after serving their sentences to set their lives back on track,” says Renze Nauta, Work & Economics Program Director at Cardus. “The province can help to correct potential employers’ inaccurate impressions about hiring these people by humanizing criminal records so that they capture a fuller picture of the job applicant. And the province can directly ease the way for employers not to let criminal records be an automatic veto on potential employees’ applications.”
Employing Ontarians with Criminal Records: Policies to Correct Labour Market Misconceptions is freely available online.
Cardus – Director of Communications
Cardus – Imagination toward a thriving society
Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society’s institutions can work together for the common good.