Are You Bondable? The Implications for Canadians with a Criminal Record

Many job application forms come with a little tick box asking, “Are You Bondable”. Let’s start with the basics – what does it mean to be bondable before you check that box.

Bondable (as it relates to employment): Ones ability to be insured by the hiring company, so that in the event of theft or loss by the employee the company is insured for the value of the loss. The process requires several checks, namely background (criminal record) and credit checks
A company who is looking to hire in various departments will usually ask if the candidate is bondable. Jobs include:

  • Positions where  there is  sensitive or valuable company information/data
  • Employment that involves the direct handling of cash
  • Jobs that involve the use of client financial information (credit card/banking information)
  • Client Representative, Service Jobs requiring interaction with customers
  • Work in the Vulnerable Sector
  • Financial Services and Banking Institutions

This list shows the extreme diversity of employers that have an interest in asking the question ‘Are You Bondable?”

 Another, more discreet reason for asking the question is a result of limits placed on the employer regarding asking questions in regards to criminal records. If you have any sort of criminal record, you must answer “No” to the question of “are you bondable”. This is because when the company who hires you tries to get you bonded the insuring company will complete a background check. If a criminal record comes back with any prior conviction you will be declined the bond and will probably face repercussions from the employer.

Companies are increasingly using the “bondability check” to screen applicants for criminal records. This follows on the increasing use of criminal record checks by employers in all industries throughout Canada.

The solution for Canadians who are faced with the difficulty of getting around the ‘are you bondable’ question is to apply for a Canadian Pardon. A Pardon from the Parole Board of Canada will effectively seal your criminal record. As a result, when those background checks are completed by the insurance company they will see a clear record. This result opens a huge area of possibility for the 13% of Canadians living with a criminal record. Take a step towards improving your future; apply for a Canadian Pardon today. 


  1. So if we get a pardon are we bond-able

  2. Yes, after receiving a pardon, you are bondable.