importance of record of employment
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Employers may brush off the importance of a Record of Employment (ROE) or even have their accountant handle all the details, but it is an important document in the realm of employment law. This document becomes significant when it comes to topics such as terminations, lay-offs, resignations, disability, illness, quarantine, a leave of absence and maternity or parental leaves.  So here are the top 6 things that every employer should know when it comes to a Record of Employment.

Firstly, what is an ROE?

An ROE is a form that employers complete for employees who are receiving insurable earnings who have stopped working and are experiencing an interruption of earnings. This document is a requirement of the Employment Insurance Program. An ROE must be completed even if the employee is not applying for Employment Insurance Benefits.

The ROE contains information regarding the employee’s work history, insurable earnings and insurable hours and is available in both electronic and paper format. It also contains a code which identifies the reason for issuing the ROE, for example, that the employee has been laid off or is on a parental leave.

The Difference between an Electronic and Paper ROE

While there are two different formats available, an employer is only required to submit one format.

Electronic ROE

This ROE is submitted to Service Canada electronically. 

  • It can be submitted to ROE Web by using compatible payroll software.
  • It can be submitted through the Service Canada website.
  • Or it can also be submitted through a Secure Automated Transfer (SAT), which is performed on your behalf by a payroll service provider by using bulk transfer technology.

Paper ROE

The paper ROE is a one-page form with three copies. The first page is the original, while the second and third pages are carbon copies.

  • The first page belongs to the employee, who will use this copy to apply for EI benefits.
  • The second page is a blue copy, which must be sent to Service Canada.
  • The employer should keep the third page for their own records.

Deadlines for Issuing ROEs

  • If the ROE is issued on paper, you must issue an ROE within five calendar days of the first day of an interruption of earnings or the day the employer becomes aware of an interruption of earnings.
  • If the ROE is issued electronically and your pay period is weekly, biweekly, or semi-monthly, 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 the ROE. 
  • If you have a monthly pay period or 13 pay periods per year, the employer must issue electronic ROEs by whichever date is earlier: 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 in the interruption of earnings. 

Amending an ROE

An employer can amend an ROE if they need to change, correct or update the information that was entered on a previously issued ROE. When amending an ROE, ensure to complete all of the blocks on the amended ROE and not just the blocks where information has changed from the original ROE.

Paper Form

  • Use a blank ROE form and in Block 2, enter the serial number of the original ROE you are correcting.


  • If you are using ROE Web you may consult the online help instructions within the ROE Web application or call the Employer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693 (TTY: 1-855-881-9874).
  • If you are using ROE SAT, contact your payroll service provider.
  • If you are amending a paper ROE electronically, enter “Amending a paper ROE” in Block 18, Comments, and include the serial number of the original paper ROE.

Insurable Earnings and Insurable Hours

The term “Insurable Earnings” refers to the different types of compensation that an employer provides to their employees on which the EI premiums are paid. The Canada Revenue Agency dictates what types of earnings and hours are insurable.

What does Service Canada do with the ROE?

Service Canada will use the information provided on the ROE to establish whether an employee who has experienced an interruption of earnings is eligible to receive EI benefits. They will determine what the benefit amount will be and how long the employee will be eligible to receive those benefits. Service Canada will also use the ROE to ensure that EI funds are not being misused!

For more information on ROE’s, you can call Service Canada’sEmployer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693.

If you’re puzzling through an employment issue and aren’t sure what to do, we can help! Get in touch for a consultation.