Record of Employment: What Employees Need to Know

In Canada, a Record of Employment or ROE is used in the Federal Employment Insurance program in order for the government to determine who qualifies for EI benefits, how much they will receive and for how long. We are going to explain the most commonly asked questions about ROE’s.

What is an ROE?

An ROE is a form, that can be in electronic format or hard copy, that employers fill out for employees receiving insurable earnings who stop working and experience an interruption of earnings. The employer must issue them to both the employee and to Service Canada. In terms of obtaining Employment Insurance (EI) it is the most important document for an employee. According to the Government of Canada’s website, each year more than 1 million Canadian employers fill out more than 9 million ROE forms for their employees.

The ROE will contain details of an individual’s work history, including insurable earnings and insurable hours. Here is a sample of a Record of Employment (ROE) Canada:

What are insurable earnings?

Insurable hours and insurable earnings are income on which EI premiums are paid.

What is an interruption of earnings?

An employee’s earnings are considered “interrupted” in the following circumstances:

  • When an employee has had or is anticipated to have seven consecutive calendar days with no work and no insurable earnings from the employer, also known as the “seven-day rule”.
  • When an employee’s salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings because of illness, injury, quarantine, pregnancy, the need to care for a newborn or child placed for the purposes of adoption or the need to provide care or support for a family member who is critically ill.

There are exceptions to these rules, such as real estate agents, employees who have non-standard work schedules, or commissioned salespeople.

When should an ROE be issued?

An employer must fill out an ROE for an employee whether they intend to apply for EI benefits or not. ROEs must be issued whenever an employee experiences an interruption of earning or when Service Canada requests one.

If the ROE is being issued on paper, an employer must issue it within five calendars of either the first day of an interruption of earnings (i.e. five days after the seventh day of the employee not being paid) or the day the employer becomes aware of an interruption of earnings.

Similarly, an electronic ROE must be issued five calendar days after the end of the pay period, in which an employee’s interruption of earnings.

How do I get my record of employment?

An employee’s first step in obtaining their ROE should always be to ask their employer for it, at least twice.  If after that, your employer has still not issued it, you should fill out a Request for an ROE here: ROE request form.

If you need assistance filling out this form, you can visit a Service Canada location, or call them at 1-800-206-7218.

Even if you do not yet have your ROE, you should apply for EI right away.

Do I get an ROE if I quit?

Your employer must issue an ROE if you experience an interruption of earnings for seven consecutive days. This includes resigning, retiring or any other event which interrupts earnings.

Can you apply for EI without ROE?

You should always apply for EI as soon as you stop working, even if you have not received your ROE yet. Delays in filing your claim may result in losing out on some or all of your benefit entitlements.

What if my ROE is incorrect?

The reason provided by your employer on your ROE for any interruption of earnings will be determinative for your entitlement to EI benefits. For instance, an employee who resigns without just cause, or is dismissed for misconduct, will be disqualified from collecting EI.

If an employee disputes the reason provided by the employer on the ROE, the government will make inquiries and then issue a ruling on the entitlement to EI benefits. Service Canada will often reach out with questions respecting reasons for termination if it is not clear. If an employee is denied EI benefits, this decision can be appealed.

Monkhouse Law’s lawyers specialize in employment law issues and wrongful dismissals. If you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed and need advice, you should speak with an employment lawyer. However, if you require a Record of Employment (ROE), the best way for you to proceed is by reaching out to your employer or contacting Service Canada.

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