What is a ROE?
A Record of Employment (ROE) is a form that employers complete and file to Service Canada at the end of an employee's service. This is for the employee in the event that they stop working and experience an interruption in earnings. This form is the single most important document used by employees when establishing a claim for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. This form must be completed by the employer each time an employee experiences an interruption of earnings, even if the employee does not plan to apply for Employment Insurance benefits.
The details entered on the ROE are primarily the employees insurable earnings and insurable hours. An ROE typically includes the last year's worth of pay periods plus one.
ROEs can be submitted as paper copies, online through ROE Web (Service Canada's website), or directly through Rise.
What are insurable hours and insurable earnings?
Insurable hours are hours worked for which the employee will receive insurable earnings. Generally all paid working hours are included as insurable hours. If an employee works 1 hour, but gets paid at an increased rate (e.g. overtime paying at 1.5x regular rate), their insurable hours connect to the real hours worked.
Insurable earnings include most types of compensation that an employee will receive. Any taxable earnings or taxable in-cash benefits would be included in insurable earnings. Contact the CRA to verify if an earning in question is insurable or not.
Earnings and hours that are not insurable do not need to be reported on an ROE.
What is an interruption of earnings?
An interruption of earnings is when an employee's employment circumstances change. Service Canada requires a ROE to be processed if one of the following three situations happens;
- An employee has seven consecutive calendar days without work (and no insurable earnings from the employer). Should an employee be terminated or cease working, this applies to the first day without earnings. This does not apply to real estate agents, employees who have non-standard work schedules, and commissioned salespeople.
- An employee’s salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings due to illness, injury, quarantine, pregnancy, the need to care for a newborn or child placed for the purposes of adoption, or the need to care for a gravely ill family member with a significant risk of death. In this case, the first day of interruption is the Sunday of the week in which the salary falls below 60%.
- If an employee receives wage loss insurance payments.
Service Canada may request an ROE for reasons not listed below, such as when an employee works more than one job and experiences an interruption of earnings in their other job; if this happens and the employee submits for EI benefits, Service Canada requires an ROE from the current employer, even though no interruption may have occurred with that employer.
- Pay period type changes: an ROE must be issued for every employee when a business or organization switches its pay period type, even if no interruption of work occurs.
- Moving payroll accounts: when an employee is transferred to another Canada Revenue Agency Payroll Account Number, no ROE must be issued if there have been no interruptions in earnings and the former employer’s records are available to the new employer and that employer has agreed to issue a single ROE that covers both periods of employment, should the need arise. If the change in ownership involves a pay period change as above, a ROE must be issued.
- Change in ownership: when there is a change in ownership, the former employer usually has to issue ROEs, unless there has been no break in earnings during the change-over and the former employer’s records are available to the new employer and that employer has agreed to issue a single ROE that covers both periods of employment, should the need arise. If the change in ownership involves a pay period change as above, a ROE must be issued.
- Bankruptcy: when an employer declares bankruptcy and a receiver takes over, the employer usually has to issue ROEs for each employee, unless there has been no interruption in the employee receiving earnings and the former employer’s records are available to the receiver and the receiver has agreed to issue a single ROE that covers both periods of employment, should the need arise. If employees continue to work after the bankruptcy, an interruption of earnings does not occur until the employees stop working, even if they work unpaid.
- Part-time/on-call employees: for part-time, on-call, or casual workers, an ROE does not need to be issued unless the employee requests an ROE and an interruption of earnings has occurred, the employee is no longer on the employer’s active employment list, Service Canada requests an ROE, or the employee has not done any work or earned any insurable earnings in 30 days.