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Background Checks in Bhutan: Legal Guidelines and Best Practices

Bhutan stands out from other nations due to its exceptional development method rooted in the Gross National Happiness philosophy. This distinctive approach has enabled Bhutan to make remarkable economic, social, environmental, and governance advancements, making it an intriguing model for analyzing business and employment prospects.

The Bhutanese government has taken measures to encourage foreign investment, including implementing the Foreign Investment Promotion Act and the Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation. These initiatives are intended to foster a conducive business climate and stimulate innovation. As a result of the government’s emphasis on sustainable growth and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, Bhutan has emerged as an attractive destination for business expansion.

Employee screening in Bhutan is generally considered necessary for organizations to screen potential employees to ensure they are qualified and minimize the risk of negligent hiring. Additionally, it can help an employer to comply with legal requirements and avoid potential legal issues.

Now, how to get started with employee screening and background checks in Bhutan? 

What Is Employment Background Verification?

Employment background verification is collecting and inspecting private and public records to determine a candidate’s employability. Employers may conduct a background check during or after an employee has been hired.

Background checks in Bhutan are essential to ensure that candidates are qualified for the position they are applying for and to protect the company from potential risks. The Department of Labour in Bhutan also verifies application forms to ensure that foreign employees are qualified and meet the requirements for employment. Employers may conduct employment background checks before or after hiring an employee and can review a candidate’s commercial, criminal, employment, and financial records, among other things.

Benefits of Background Checks in Bhutan

Background Screening in Bhutan provides numerous benefits for an employer. Some of them are:

  • Background screening can help identify details of a candidate’s past that may make them unsuitable for the workplace. This can include criminal history, employment history, education history, and more.
  • Implementing a rescreening or employee monitoring program can assist employers in staying informed about any alterations to their employees’ circumstances that could impact their job performance.
  • Professional reference checks can also be conducted as part of the background check process, which can help verify information provided by the candidate and give insight into their work ethic, character, and skills.
  • Data privacy and protection are of utmost importance when conducting background checks, and reputable companies should have certifications and associations that prove their commitment to data security.

It is legal to conduct pre-employment background checks in Bhutan. There may be differences in background check laws and regulations from country to country, so each case should be assessed individually. It is recommended to seek legal advice before conducting background checks in Bhutan. 

Global PEO – EOR firms working in Bhutan often help employers seeking to conduct background checks in Bhutan by offering employment screening packages, criminal records searches, civil records searches, education degree verification, professional reference checks, and global monitor checks in the country.

Additionally, they provide information on the rules and regulations for international background checks in Bhutan, indicating that employers can conduct pre-screening background checks legally on potential employees.

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Bhutan

Employers must consider specific parameters when conducting employee background screening in Bhutan. It includes:

Employment history

To check an employee’s employment history in Bhutan, one can refer to the Labour and Employment Act of Bhutan 2007, which outlines the regulations for employers and employees in the country. 

As a component of the employee background check in Bhutan, it is permissible for an employer to solicit a work history report from the employee. This report typically comprises information such as the name and location of the organization, the employee’s job title, the duration of their employment, and the duties and responsibilities performed by the employee during their tenure in the position.

Alternatively, an employer could contact the Department of Labour in Bhutan to inquire about an employee’s employment history. The Department of Labour oversees the implementation of regulations on working conditions, including the employees’ Provident Fund (PF) account contributions. They may have access to records of an employee’s past employment.

Education history

To check the education history of an employee in Bhutan during a background check, there are several options available:

  • Conduct an education background check. This type of check is used to verify the required education for job applicants, typically to confirm the dates of attendance and whether the degree listed on a resume was earned.
  • Directly contact the educational institution where the employee obtained their degree or attended classes to verify the degree’s authenticity and the attendance dates.
  • Use a third-party background check service to verify the legitimacy of an applicant’s claimed education history. To use a third-party service, the applicant must be notified and provide signed consent to undergo the background check.

Criminal record

The criminal background check in Bhutan is typically carried out by the local level court based on the city’s jurisdiction provided. The search will typically reveal any felony-level convictions within the past seven years. The report may contain details such as the type of case, date, location of the filing, case number, charge information, disposition information, and sentencing details.

Credit report

Employers may run credit checks on potential employees to help make hiring decisions and gain insight into their financial responsibility and integrity. It’s important to mention that in most instances, a credit check primarily deals with an individual’s personal credit and debt information. Before running a credit report, employers must receive written permission from the employee and comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The process for running a credit report check on an employee in Bhutan may be different from other countries due to differences in local laws and regulations.

Social life

Social life provides valuable information about an employee’s social behavior. Before hiring a new employee, an employer may conduct a thorough background check by contacting individuals from the employee’s immediate vicinity.

Information Essential for a Background Check in Bhutan

The following is the essential information that an employer needs to check while conducting a background check in Bhutan:

  • The candidate’s full name
  • Candidate DOB
  • National identity card of the candidate
  • Visa authorization: For foreign employees, it is essential to obtain a visa authorization before entering Bhutan. A copy of the visa authorization must be printed out and presented during check-in.
  • Biometrics: Foreigners who want to work in Bhutan must provide biometrics in person at the immigration office.
  • Proof of current and previous addresses of the candidate
  • The candidate’s employment history, including job titles, dates of employment, and salary history
  • The candidate’s educational qualifications, including degrees and institutions
  • The criminal record with the consent of the candidate adhering to privacy laws
  • The credit history of the candidate adhering to privacy norms
  • Reference of former employers and colleagues of the candidate 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Bhutan

Conducting a background check in Bhutan involves verifying various aspects of an individual’s personal and professional history. Here is a step-by-step guide regarding the process involved in background checks in Bhutan:

  • Create a background check policy: The first step to conducting background checks in Bhutan is to create a background check policy. The policy should document the details of the screening program, including the types of checks the employer will conduct and how they will obtain consent from candidates.
  • Obtain necessary information: To conduct a background check for employment in Bhutan, like the candidate’s full name, date of birth, and any other identifying information such as a passport or national ID number. The employer may also need consent from the candidate to obtain certain records, such as school transcripts or credit reports.
  • Conduct the background check: Once they have obtained the necessary information and consent, one can begin conducting the background check. This may involve verifying the candidate’s education and employment history, conducting criminal background checks, and checking for any sanctions or financial issues.
  • Follow Bhutanese laws: It’s essential to follow all applicable Bhutanese laws and regulations when conducting background checks. For example, immigration and citizenship laws may impact the screening process.
  • Communicate results: After conducting the background check, communicate the results to the appropriate parties, such as hiring managers or HR personnel. 

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Bhutan

Employers use background checks in Bhutan to ensure that they are hiring the right people for their organization. In Bhutan, some industries and situations that may require background checks include:

  1. Government jobs: Background checks are mandatory for individuals applying for government jobs in Bhutan. This ensures that the candidate has no criminal record or past that could affect their ability to perform the job duties.
  2. Financial institutions: Banks and other financial institutions in Bhutan may require background checks for employees handling financial transactions or accessing sensitive financial information. This ensures that the employees are trustworthy and have a clean record.
  3. Childcare and education: Background checks may be required for individuals who work in childcare centers, schools, and other educational institutions to ensure that they have no history of child abuse, violence, or criminal activity.
  4. Healthcare: Background checks are essential for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare employees, to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and do not have any history of malpractice or other issues that could impact patient care.
  5. Security and law enforcement: Individuals who work in security or law enforcement roles may require background checks to ensure that they have no criminal history or other issues that could impact their ability to perform their duties.

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Background screening has become necessary in almost all modern industries since companies worldwide handle sensitive data daily. With Multiplier, companies can hire trustworthy candidates for their business and ensure compliance with the law.

Multiplier is a company that provides global PEO-EOR services to help businesses with international employment and minimize associated risks. They specialize in conducting employment processes that comply with international regulations and standards, and they can assist companies in expanding their operations to foreign countries such as Bhutan. One of their services includes conducting employee background checks.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Background checks in Bhutan include:

  • Criminal records searches.
  • Civil record searches.
  • Education degree verification.
  • Employment verification.
  • Professional reference checks.
  • Global monitor checks.
  • Directorship checks.

It is generally recommended that employers keep background check results on file for no longer than necessary and in compliance with local laws and regulations. Employers should also obtain written permission from the applicant or employee before conducting a background check.

The duration of time required for a background check can differ based on a range of factors, including the type of check being conducted and the parties’ cooperation. The time it takes to conduct an international education verification check, which is one type of background screening, is typically between five and ten business days, depending on the specific institution.

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