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What Do You Need to Know About ROEs As An Employer?

Last updated: Feb. 20, 2019 

Each year, more than 1 million Canadian employers fill out more than 9 million ROE forms for their employees, according to the Government of Canada.

A record of employment (ROE) is the single most important document in the Employment Insurance (EI) program.

As an employer, find out what your responsibilities are to ROEs and your employees.

What is a Record of Employment (ROE)?

The ROE is a form that can be electronic or paper, that employers complete for employees receiving insurable earnings who stop working and experience an interruption of earnings.

You must complete the ROE even if the employee does not intend to apply for EI benefits.

ROEs can be complicated to fill out, but you must enter details about the employee’s work history with your organization, including insurable earnings and insurable hours.

Each box requires a certain set of numbers for different pay periods. Your bookkeeping system can help place information accurately to avoid mistakes.

There are two ROE formats available: transmitting the ROE to the CRA electronically or completing a paper ROE form.

What is an electronic Record of Employment (ROE)?

This type of ROE is submitted to Service Canada electronically.

There are 3 ways to submit ROEs electronically:

  1. ROE Web using compatible payroll software to upload ROEs from your payroll system
  2. ROE Web manually entering data online through Service Canada’s website
  3. Secure Automated Transfer (SAT), which is performed on your behalf by a payroll service like FBC

By using FBC’s payroll service, ROE Web is an efficient, reliable, simple, and easy to use way of issuing an ROE electronically. E-filing is the suggested method of filing that Service Canada prefers.

This application doesn’t have to go the Employee, the employer can send directly to Service Canada and employee just has to do an application. This method does not rely on Canada Post, which allows more timely filing.

What is a Paper ROE?

The paper ROE is a one-page form in triplicate. (There are three copies of the ROE: the first, an original, and the second and third are carbon copies.)

Once you complete it, you must distribute the 3 copies of the paper ROE as follows:

  • The employee receives the original, part 1 (the employee will use this copy to apply for EI benefits).
  • The blue copy (part 2) goes to Service Canada (see Where do I send Part 2 of the paper ROE?).
  • Part 3 keep in your records for 6 years after the year to which the information relates.

Your Obligations as an Employer

You must remit all payroll withholding taxes for an employee – CPP contributions, EI premiums, and income tax deductions – within 7 days after the last day of employment of that employee.

You also must provide a ROE to each former employee, generally, within 5 calendar days.

Should your business end, you must file all required T4 and T4A slips with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) within 30 days and provide copies of these slips to your former employees.

What Can Business Owners Do to Save Time on ROEs?

The average small business owner spends 5 to 10 hours a week on their books. There are benefits to outsourcing your bookkeeping and payroll, giving more time back to you to work on your business.

If you’d like more information about how to simplify your payroll, add hours back into your week and generally make life less taxing, call or email our payroll product specialist, David McKenzie, 1-833-813-1541.