The Social Insurance Number Code of Practice
Annex 6 - Employers' dos and don'ts: Requesting, collecting, using and storing the SIN
- Request each new employee’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) within three (3) days after the day on which their employment begins.
- Maintain a record of the SIN of the employee.
- If in doubt whether an employee's SIN is valid, contact Service Canada's Social Insurance Registration Office (1-800-206-7218, select option “3”) to verify the number.
- Be sure your new employee's orientation training includes the importance of privacy of personal information and the SIN.
- If a new employee’s SIN begins with a “9”, ensure that the work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada is valid and that all terms and conditions of the work permit are being followed.
- Shred all paper records and fully erase any electronic records containing employee personal information that you are no longer legally required to keep.
- Allow employees to access and/or challenge any personal information kept in their personnel record.
- Keep your record of employees' personal information accurate, complete and up-to-date.
- Keep sensitive information in a secure area or on an encrypted computer system. Only allow access to individuals who are authorized.
- Protect your electronic information with confidential passwords that are at least seven characters in length. Do not spell anything or follow logical patterns. Use a combination of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, and symbols (for example, E.E0n2$).
- Never ask for the SIN on a job application or during an interview.
- Do not use the SIN as an employee identification number.
- Never employ someone who does not have a valid SIN.
- Never give an employee's SIN to anyone unless you know that the person is legally entitled to that information (for example, for income tax or government benefit purposes).
- Never hire anyone with an expired immigration document.
- Don't allow SIN fraud to go unreported. If you suspect a SIN is being used fraudulently, contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 and select option “3” (or 1-506-548-7961 if calling from outside Canada . Long-distance charges apply).
- Don't leave documents containing employees' personal information, especially their SIN, in the open.
- Don't keep any personal information of an employee or customer that you no longer need.
- Don't allow employee work stations and computers to be left unattended since unauthorized individuals could obtain sensitive personal information.
- Don't share your password with anyone. If your business requires you to share access to sensitive information with others, be sure to change your password regularly and restrict access to the system.
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