The Record of Employment, or ROE, is a form that Canadian employers need to fill out and file with Service Canada when an employee with insurable earnings has an interruption of earnings (see below).
What's the Purpose of the Record of Employment?
The Record of Employment, says Service Canada, "is the single most important document in establishing an Employment Insurance (EI) claim. Service Canada... uses the information on the ROE to determine whether a person qualifies for EI benefits, the benefit rate and the duration of his/her claim."
Service Canada also uses the ROE to ensure that no one misuses Employment Insurance funds or receives benefits in error.
As an employer, though, what matters is that you must complete a Record of Employment form for any employee who experiences an interruption of earnings even if the employee does not intend to apply for Employment Insurance benefits.
Note that you must also issue ROEs to your employees if you are a non-Canadian employer operating within Canada.
What Is an Interruption of Earnings?
An interruption of earnings occurs when:
- an employee quits
- an employee is laid off or terminated
- an employee has had or is anticipated to have seven consecutive calendar days with no work and no insurable earnings from the employer. This is called the seven-day rule. The seven-day rule does not apply to Real Estate Agents, employees who have non-standard work schedules or commission salespeople.
- an employee's salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings due to illness or injury, pregnancy, the need for a parent to care for either newly born or adopted children, or the need to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.
In each of these cases, as a Canadian employer, you will have to complete an ROE for the employee - whether he or she is thinking of applying for Employment Insurance benefits or not.
How soon you have to file the ROE with Service Canada depends on whether you are filing a paper ROE or sending it in electronically. (See below.)
Completing Records of Employment
On the Record of Employment form, you enter details of the employee's work history with your business, including their insurable earnings and insurable hours.
Records of Employment can be done in paper form or electronically.
Using Paper Records of Employment
Paper ROEs may still be used if you aren't able to issue electronic ROEs.
If you're using the paper format for ROEs, you must issue one within five calendar days of the first day of the employee's interruption of earnings or within five days the first day that you become aware of the employee's interruption of earnings.
Once you complete the form, you will:
- Give the first copy (the original) to your employee as proof of insurable earnings for claiming EI benefits.
- Send the second copy (blue) to Service Canada as indicated on the form.
- Keep the third copy (white) in your files for six years.
Need more paper ROE forms? Contact the Employer Contact Centre to order them.
Using Electronic Records of Employment
Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) is a secure Web-based application created and maintained by the Canadian government for employers to use to create, submit, amend, and print 53-week ROEs electronically. You can also import ROE data back into your own payroll system. You can register for ROE Web online.
The deadline for issuing an electronic Record of Employment depends on your business's pay period type.
If your business's pay period is weekly, biweekly or semi-monthly (twice a month), you have up to five calendar days after the end of the pay period in which an employee’s interruption of earnings occurs to issue an electronic ROE.
If your business has a monthly pay period or pays employees every four weeks, you have to issue an ROE either:
- Five calendar days after the end of the pay period in which an employee experiences an interruption of earnings; or
- 15 calendar days after the first day of an interruption of earnings depending on whichever date is earlier.
Service Canada has a chart summarizing the ROE deadlines by pay period.
When you are completing and filing ROEs electronically, you do not need to print a paper copy for your employees. Employees who have registered with the My Service Canada Account online service can view and print copies of their electronic ROEs.
Help Completing and Filing Records of Employment
Service Canada's How to Complete the Record of Employment Form Guide provides details on this and gives Block-by-block instructions for completing the Record of Employment. It also includes examples of both completed paper and electronic Records of Employment.