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Employers and the Social Insurance Number (SIN)


  1. You must ask to see the SIN card of all employees as soon as they are hired.
  2. You should record the name and SIN exactly as they appear on the SIN card.
  3. Your employee’s SIN is a confidential number, restricted to income-related inofrmation.

You must ask to see the SIN card

Under the Employment Insurance Act every person who works in Canada is required to have a SIN. As an employer, you must ask to see the SIN card of all new employees when they are hired, and the employee must show it to you within three days following the start date of employment. It is important that you obtain the correct SIN of your employee so that you can make payroll deductions such as Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, and income tax. Also, you must record the SIN as it appears on the employee’s SIN card. If you cannot ascertain the SIN of an employee, you must inform your local Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) office within six days following the start date of employment.

SINs beginning with a "9"

SINs beginning with a “9” are issued to individuals who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents. Starting March 30.2003, these SINs will have an expiry date, which will be based on the end of the person’s authorized stay in Canada as determined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Current SINs that begin with “9” and without an expiry date will be valid until April 3,2004.

If a new employee has a SIN beginning with a “9”, you must see the card to ensure that the number is not expired. You must also ask to see the work permit issued by CIC. All terms and conditions on that form, including dates authorized to work, must be met in order for you to employ that person.

Hiring a person with a “9” SIN who does not have such authorization, or a person with an expired “9” SIN, would constitute “knowingly” hiring someone who does not have the right to work in Canada – an offence under the ‘Pntnigrattofrand Refagee Protection Act.

SINs are confidential

Your employee’s SIN is a confidential number, restricted to income-related information and is to be protected against misuse.

Since January 1 2001, federal legislation came into force to provide better protection of personal information, including the SIN.The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act helps safeguard personal.

If you suspect fraud

Every year, stolen, lost and borrowed SIN cards are used to defraud individuals, businesses and governments. You can help prevent fraud by asking to see the SIN card and by recording, on your payroll, the name and SIN as they appear on the card.

If you suspect that a SIN is being used fraudulently, contact your local Service Canada centre or dial 1-800-206-7218 (toll-free).


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