A P.E.I. man had to wait almost four months before he could start in a new job due to delays in getting his background check processed.

Gerry Hamilton of Argyle Shore was offered work as a chef in a hospital last autumn, conditional on him passing a police background check.

The check was supposed to take a few weeks, but it initially showed he shared the birthday of another man on the national sex offender registry. That meant he had to be fingerprinted, under new rules introduced last summer aimed at catching offenders who had changed their name.

The few-weeks delay turned into a few months, and Hamilton had to wait before starting his job.

"This is costing real people real money," Hamilton told CBC News on Monday.

"Potentially thousands and thousands of dollars I've lost."

The requirement for further checking when there is a birthdate and gender match has led to a large backup of applications.

Rob Murray, who is with the RCMP in Ottawa, said: "We've hired a large number of individuals here; we've allocated overtime resources to it to try and deal with the number."

Fortunately for Hamilton, his new employer was ready to wait. His papers arrived Monday, and he started work Tuesday.