ROEs, or Records of Employment, are completed by employers across Canada as part of their payroll processes. However, whether you are an employee or an employer, dealing with ROEs and the complexities surrounding them can be challenging. If ROE issues are not resolved, it can lead to delayed benefits, potential fraud, or even hefty fines.

To gain a better understanding of ROEs from both the employee’s and employer’s perspectives, let’s take a closer look and answer any questions you may have regarding Records of Employment in Canada.


Understanding ROE (Record of Employment) and its Importance for EI Benefits in Canada

The term “ROE” stands for Record of Employment. It is a crucial document that employers in Canada are required to submit to the federal government whenever there are significant changes in their employees’ wages, hours, or employment duration.

ROEs play a vital role when workers apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. It serves as a crucial piece of documentation that individuals need to access in order to qualify for EI benefits.

ROE Canada

Understanding the Function of a Record of Employment

A record of employment (ROE) is a crucial document that employer’s issue to employees when there is a disruption in their insured earnings due to various circumstances such as job loss, business closures, layoffs, firings, or extended absences due to injuries or illness.

When an employee experiences such a work interruption, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the ROE within a specific timeframe. This document is standardized across all provinces in Canada as it is a federal requirement.

ROEs can be generated in either paper or electronic format. Whenever possible, it is recommended to use the electronic ROE web service to generate and submit employment records. This benefits both employers and employees by streamlining the process.

Having accurate records of employment is crucial for individuals to be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Without proper documentation of their previous 52 weeks of employment, individuals may be disqualified from receiving EI benefits. Additionally, employees who fail to submit their ROEs accurately or in a timely manner may face financial penalties and other consequences. Therefore, it is evident that issuing ROEs promptly and accurately holds significant importance.


Understanding the Functionality of the ROE Form

The ROE form can be completed electronically or printed out from the Service Canada ROE website and filled in manually. Regardless of the format chosen, the fields, format, and completion process remain the same.


What does the ROE form include?

The ROE form closely resembles other documents from Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It is divided into various sections, each containing valuable information about the employee’s employment details, hours worked, and wages earned. The form consists of a total of 22 blocks, covering:

  1. Employee identification and personal information
  2. Comprehensive details about the employment period
  3. Insured earnings and the number of insured hours worked
  4. Payment periods for salaries
  5. For companies, the reference number and business number are provided
  6. Explanation of the reason for the employee’s separation (ROE code)

Not all blocks need to be completed, but it is important for employers to fill out the required sections to avoid further inquiries from Service Canada once the ROE is issued.


How to Obtain a Record of Employment (ROE)

Employers are responsible for issuing the ROE in the event of salary interruptions, and workers do not need to make a specific request for it. There are two ways for workers to obtain their employment records:

  1. Printed Copies: Employers can provide workers with a printed copy of the ROE. This can be kept for their records or submitted to the Employment Insurance (EI) office when applying for benefits.
  2. Electronic Version: Once the electronic ROE is completed, it is sent to Service Canada. While Service Canada is not obligated to provide a copy to the worker, they may choose to do so. Workers can log into their My Account on the Service Canada website to view their ROE electronically.

It is important to note that Service Canada requires both the employer and the worker to submit a hard copy of the ROE. Workers can keep the paper ROEs in their files or submit them to the EI office when applying for benefits.


When to Issue an ROE

Determining when to issue an ROE as an employer can sometimes be challenging. However, there are specific situations that require the issuance of an ROE:

  1. Resignations, Firings, and Layoffs: Whenever there is a termination of the employment relationship, such as voluntary resignations, terminations by the employer, or layoffs, an ROE must be issued.
  2. Interruption of Earnings: If an employee is unable to work for an entire week or their salary falls below 60% of their normal weekly earnings, it is considered an interruption of earnings by Service Canada. This can occur due to various reasons, including:
  • Sickness, injury, or quarantine of the employee.
  • Care of a newborn or newly adopted child during pregnancy or after adoption.
  • Assisting a family member who is seriously ill.

In addition to these situations, Service Canada may request an ROE for various reasons. It is crucial for employers to be aware of these circumstances and issue the ROE promptly to ensure compliance with the requirements.


How to Obtain and Submit ROE Forms

If you still prefer using paper ROE forms, here’s how you can obtain them:

  1. Order Blank ROE Forms: Contact the Employer Contact Centre to obtain your CRA payroll account number. With this number, you can order blank ROE forms from the government.

It’s important to note that you are responsible for securely maintaining these paper forms to prevent any potential liability issues.

However, if you prefer a more convenient option, the CRA offers online ROE web services where you can electronically generate and submit ROE forms.

Where to Send ROE Forms:
  1. Electronic ROE Submission: If you or your employer submits the ROE electronically to Service Canada, there is no requirement to send a paper copy.
  2. Paper ROE Submission: If your employer provides you with a paper copy of the ROE, they must also send a hard copy to Service Canada. You should keep a copy for your records.

When it comes to sending the paper ROE to Service Canada, you have two options based on your location:

  • Mailing: If you are sending the ROE by mail, the mailing address will be provided on the confirmation and information pages of the online form for unemployment benefits. Ensure that you send it to the correct address as indicated.
  • Dropping Off: Some Service Canada offices may allow you to drop off the ROE in person. Check the Service Canada website or contact your local office to determine if this option is available and where you should drop it off.

By following these steps, you can obtain and submit ROE forms correctly to fulfill the requirements of employment records in Canada.

ROE Canada

Personalized Assistance for ROEs

If you’re finding it challenging to navigate the process of obtaining a record of employment (ROE) or determining when to issue one in your specific situation, there are resources available to provide you with personalized assistance.

Accountants: Your accountant can be a valuable resource when it comes to obtaining a ROE or understanding the various codes associated with it. They can guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements.

Service Canada: You can also reach out to Service Canada directly for assistance. They have dedicated support channels where you can inquire about your specific options and get guidance on obtaining the ROE that you need.

By seeking help from experts in the field, such as your accountant or Service Canada, you can receive personalized assistance tailored to your circumstances. They will help you navigate the complexities of ROEs and ensure that you fulfill all the necessary requirements.