What is an ROE? Record of Employment Explained

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August 1, 2022
What is an ROE?

If you are a business owner, you need to get familiar with the term ROE, or, record of employment because without these important documents, your employees can’t receive insurable earnings should they stop working or experience an interruption of earnings. 

In this article we will cover some of the most asked questions about ROEs as well as how to issue an ROE using the workforce management technology. 

Now back to learning about ROEs.

What is record of employment?

A Record of Employment or ROE is a form that employers fill in and store for their employees that receive insurable earnings.  This form provides proof of work and allows employees to collect unemployment insurance should they face an interruption of earnings.

Every year over nine million ROE forms are filled by more than a million employers across Canada.

Why do employees need ROEs?

Employees need to be able to obtain their record of employment if they need to stop working and collect EI.  The ability to collect EI is the main reason why someone would need a record of employment.  If an employee stops working, their employer must provide them with an ROE.

How can employees get a record of employment?

There are two ways for you to get your ROE from your employer. Your employer can send the ROE to the government by filing it electronically within five days of the end of the pay period in which you stopped working. Or, they can give you a paper copy of your ROE within five days of your first interruption of earnings. 

You will need a My Service Canada Account to see your ROE online. If your employer gives you a paper copy of your ROE, you have to mail it to Service Canada. 

How do employees complete the ROE form, and who completes it?

An employer completes an ROE within five days of the employee's last day of work or interruption of earnings. Every employer must complete an ROE form, even for those employees who do not wish to apply for Employment Insurance (EI). To fill out an ROE form, you need to enter employee identification details, work history with the company, and any insurable earnings or insurable hours they registered over the year.   

An ROE can be submitted in two formats:

  • Electronic Form 
  • Paper Form 

Electronic ROE

You can submit ROE online in one of three ways:

  • Entering data manually through ROE Web using Service Canada's website
  • Using compatible payroll software to submit ROEs via ROE Web
  • Using Secure Automated Transfer (SAT), performed by PUSH on your behalf using bulk transfer technology, to submit ROEs

Electronic ROEs are sub-divided into two categories—based on serial numbers starting with:

  • S – ROE SAT
  • W – ROE Web

What is ROE Web? 

ROE Web provides employers with a simple, efficient, and secure way to issue electronic ROEs. To use ROE Web, all you need is an internet connection. ROE Web allows you to create, print, submit and make changes to ROEs. 

You can issue ROEs according to your pay cycle with PUSH.

Paper-based ROE 

A Paper-based ROE is issued in triplicate, which means there will be three copies of the ROE – an original and two carbon copies. 

Once completed, copies of the paper ROE should be distributed as follows:

  • The employee gets the first copy so they can use it to apply for EI benefits.
  • The blue copy is submitted to Service Canada.
  • The third copy is for the employer's records. 

Types of paper ROEs

There are five types of paper ROEs. Each ROE type is given a serial number that begins with the following letters: 

  • A – English or French (These types of paper ROEs have already been distributed and cannot be ordered anymore. However, they are still valid.) 
  • E – English
  • K – French
  • L – Laser (This format is outdated and has been replaced by ROE Web.)
  • Z – ROE for fishers

lady writing about ROEs

What is an interruption of earnings?

An interruption of earnings can take place when: 

  • The employee has had or is expected to have at least seven continuous calendar days of no work or insurable earnings from the company. Named the 7-day rule, it does not apply to real estate agents, commissioned salespeople, or workers with a non-standard work schedule. 
  • An employee's salary falls below sixty percent of their weekly earnings due to injury, pregnancy, or illnesses. It also applies to parents who need to care for a newborn or an adopted child and those who care for or support a terminally ill family member.
  • An employee quits the job.
  • An employee is terminated or laid off.

As a Canadian employer, you are required to complete your employee's ROE in case any of the above-mentioned interruptions occur. It doesn't matter if the employee has or hasn't considered applying for any Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. You have the choice to file a paper or an electronic ROE; however, the vast majority of employers prefer to issue electronic ROEs rather than paper ROEs. 

Incorporate PUSH software solutions into your employee management operations and issue ROEs without hassle.

How long does an employer have to file and ROE? 

Employers have five calendar days before the ROE must be issued to the employee.

This countdown will start from the first day of an interruption of earnings; or the day the employer becomes aware of an interruption of earnings.

When do you, as the employer, have to issue an ROE?

Paper-based ROE should be issued immediately within five calendar days of:

  • the first day of an interruption of earnings; or 
  • the time or day an employer is made aware of an interruption of earnings. 

If you are issuing an electronic ROE, you must use the government's secure web-based application: Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web). Issuing an electronic ROE is easier than issuing a paper ROE. 

The deadlines for electronic ROEs depend on pay periods. If it is weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly, you need to issue an electronic ROE within five calendar days after the interruption of earnings takes place. But if you pay your employees monthly or thirteen times a year or every four weeks, you should issue an ROE either:  

  • five days after the end of the pay period in which the employee experienced an interruption of earnings; or 
  • within 15 calendar days after the first day of the interruption of earnings. 

What happens if I fail to provide my employee with an ROE?

An ROE must be issued within five days after the employee's last day of work or interruption of earnings by the employer. If the employer fails to provide an ROE, they are liable for two types of penalties by the law. The federal government issues the first penalty. Under this penalty, the employer can be fined up to $2000 or can even be imprisoned for six months, or both.

Under the second penalty, the employer pays damages to the employee for the inconvenience caused. These damages are dependent on the severity of the injury caused to the employee.  

more roe questions answered by this guy

How do I issue mass ROEs to employees?

You can issue mass electronic ROEs to your employees through Secure Automated Transfer (SAT), performed for you by a payroll service provider such as PUSH, using bulk transfer technology.  

Issuing mass paper ROEs is far harder. Paper ROEs are a one-page form issued in triplicate—one copy is original, and two are carbon copies. If you mass issue paper ROE's, then you'd have to send dozens of ROE copies to your employees either through mail or through direct contact. This process can become costly and inefficient if you have a large number of employees. 

How do I issue ROEs if I'm temporarily closing my business?

An employer should issue an ROE within 5 days of their employee's last day of work or when they experience an interruption of earnings. Since the business is closing temporarily, your employees will have an interruption of earnings. Therefore, you have to issue ROEs.

If you're issuing ROE forms electronically, you can use payroll services such as PUSH to do your work for you. PUSH uses Secure Automated Transfer (SAT) to issue your ROEs through bulk transfer. PUSH is fast, efficient, and easy to use. If you use PUSH, you can provide a hypothetical date when your business will reopen or select "Unknown" when you're completing the ROE form. None of these options will affect your employee's EI application. 

However, if you're issuing paper forms, you'd have to do the work manually and yourself. You will fill in each form and then issue the ROE to each employee by mail or through direct contact. 

Is a record of employment the same as a form T4?

No. A Record of Employment is filed when an employee leaves a job or an interruption of earning occurs. An ROE is an important document used to determine an employee's eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. An ROE documents the number of hours an employee has worked in the past 52 weeks. To be eligible for regular EI benefits, an employee has to work for a minimum of 42 hours. 

Form T4 is used to file annual taxes and must be submitted before February after the end of every fiscal year, even if the employee has only worked for a couple of days in a year. The Form T4 is used to determine whether an employed individual has paid taxes levied on their yearly salary. 

How do I submit an employee ROE to Service Canada?

Service Canada uses the Record of Employee Form to confirm that an employee is eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. This information is used to determine the benefit amount and the time period for which the employee is eligible to receive these benefits. Service Canada also uses the ROE to ensure that only eligible employees receive EI funds and that no one misuses them.

Furthermore, Service Canada also shares the Record of Employee information with the government of Quebec. The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) enables the provincial government to administer parental, maternity, paternity, and adoption benefits to the residents. 

Keeping these reasons in mind, you need to provide accurate information on an ROE so that no mishaps happen. 

a man researching roes

How to submit an ROE using Push Operations.

Issuing a record of employment with PUSH is remarkably simple. All you have to do is create a Super Admin account and ensure that all the working hour dues have been paid before submitting an ROE. Your ROE will not be initiated if there are any outstanding dues you need to pay for. 

Listed below are the steps you need to follow to submit an ROE with PUSH.

  1. Open employee tab.
  2. Select "Issue ROE" on the left-hand navigation bar.
  3. Type the name of the employee you want to issue an ROE for in the search bar. 
  4. Press the icon under the "Issue ROE" option. 
  5. Enter relevant information "the last date worked," "reasons for leaving," and whether "an employee will return" boxes. 
  6. Add any internal company notes if necessary.
  7. Click the "submit" option once you are done. 

It is that easy! You can also issue mass ROEs with Push. Click here for more information. 

How can you access or view an employee's record of employment online? 

  1. Click on "ROE History" in the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. The status will appear as "pending." Once you have submitted an ROE, it takes around 5 business days for an ROE to be completed. 
  3. You can view the completed ROE by clicking the "completed ROE" form present under "pending records."

What are 8 special situations in which an ROE needs to be issued.

1 - Upon Service Canada's request.

You must issue a Record of Employment when Service Canada requests it. It usually happens when the employee is working two jobs and faces an interruption of earnings in either of them. In this situation, the employer should apply for EI benefits on behalf of the employee. 

2 - When the type of pay period changes.

You must issue ROEs for all of your employees when your company changes its type of pay period. In this situation, ROEs must be issued even if the employee hasn't faced any interruption of earnings. 

3 - The employee is transferred to a new Canada Revenue Agency payroll account number.

In this situation, the employee continues working for the employer; however, he/she is moved to another Canada Revenue Agency Payroll Account Number. In some cases, employers have more than one Payroll Account Number. They can transfer their employee's payroll file to another payroll account number used by the company. When an employee's payroll file is transferred, the employer needs to issue an ROE for its employee. However, an ROE is not required when:

  • the employee receives earnings on time during the transfer and experiences no breaks
  • a single ROE is issued for both employment periods

4 - In case of a change in ownership.

If the ownership of the business is changed, the company needs to issue an ROE to each of its employees. However, you are not required to issue an ROE in case of a change in ownership if: 

  • the employees receive their payment on time during the change in ownership
  • the new employer is provided with a payroll record, and they agree to issue ROEs that cover both employment periods 

5 - If an employer goes bankrupt.

The company needs to issue ROEs to all of its employees when it goes bankrupt, and another receiver takes over the business operations. However, ROEs are not required to be issued when:

  • employees receive their earnings on time during the change in ownership
  • the receiver is provided with the employer's payroll records, and he agrees to issue ROE for both employment periods if necessary 

6- Part-time, casual, or on-call workers.

You don't need to issue an ROE for someone working on a part-time, on-call, and casual basis or when they experience a consecutive interruption of earnings over seven days. However, an ROE must be issued when an employee: 

  • requests an ROE in case of interruption of earnings 
  • is actively employed by the company
  • hasn't worked for a month or received any insurable earnings period
  • when Service Canada requests an ROE 

7 - Wage-loss insurance (WLI).

When employees are offered wage-loss insurance plans:

  • You need to issue an ROE in case of non-insurable plan payments. 
  • If plan payments are insurable, but the employee experiences an interruption of earnings, the employer has to issue a second ROE for insurable WLI payment when interruption of earnings ends. 

8 - During self-funded leave.

Some workplaces allow their employees to take self-funded leave by coming to an agreement with them. Usually, the employee has to defer a percentage of his earnings for a specific period. 

No interruption of earnings takes place during the self-funded leave, so an employer doesn't have to issue an ROE unless the agreement is broken. The employee resumes his role after the self-funded leave is over. However, if the employee quits during this period, the employer is required to issue an ROE. While completing this type of ROE, the employer needs to mention the employee's last day before taking a self-funded leave. 

What technology should I use to make managing ROEs easy?

If you want to make managing your ROEs easy, and have them kept in one place, you should consider using integrated payroll and workforce management technology like Push Operations. With Push, your ROEs are stored and accessible in a central online location, making it easy to provide staff with what they need quickly. Simplify HR, payroll, and workforce management with Push. We can help you grow and scale your business according to your needs by providing you with workforce management tools on an all-in-one platform.

Want to learn more about Canadian payroll? From set up to doing your first run, this guide covers it all!

what is an ROE?

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April 2021


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