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  • Writer's pictureAndreas Skutle

ROE Requests and Business Resources During COVID-19 Outbreak

The current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has made day-to-day operations difficult for a lot of businesses. Due to forced shutdowns or reduced work, many find themselves having to cut down on employees' hours, or even make temporary layoffs. The outbreak has become a worldwide crisis that's affecting workforces in dozens of countries, and Canada is no exception.

Many of us have firsthand started to feel the consequences this outbreak is having on business, especially those who are forced to lay off employees. Unfortunately, this has ignited a high number of Record of Employment (ROE) requests through Service Canada and 3rd party payroll service providers, who are now experiencing significant delays in submitting and preparing ROE requests.

ROEs are necessary for anyone who are applying for Employment Insurance, so naturally everyone wants to get theirs sooner rather than later.

In order to get ROEs for your employees as quickly as possible, we recommend submitting your own requests directly to Service Canada, who have been kind enough to provide step-by-step instructions for completing an ROE:

  • ROEs need to be coded with a reason for why they're being issued:

Use Code A - Shortage of Work / End of Contract or Season if:

- You've closed your business or adjusted your workforce as a precaution.

Use Code D - Illness/Injury for:

- Actual illness or an employee who has tested positive.

- An employee who has traveled and is now self-isolating.

Use Code N - Leave of Absence if:

- The employee making a personal choice to distance them self out of an abundance of care.

  • BOX 18 - Do not put a note in this field. This "flags" the ROE in the system and may slow processing.

For any workers who are ill or experiencing loss of work due to COVID-19, Service Canada has a toll-free number - 1-833-381-2725

Useful Information and Resources

Over the past week, the Canadian government has released funds multiple times as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some of the parts of this funding that apply to small businesses:

  • Employment Insurance (EI) —The one-week waiting period for EI benefits for workers in quarantine and those who've been told to self-isolate will be waived. Additional options for individuals who are ineligible for EI sickness benefits are also being explored.

- A dedicated toll-free number for affected employee: 1-833-381-2725.

- Employers may be entitled to an EI Premium reduction for Short-Term Disability Benefits: EI Premium Reduction Program — you can get more information on this by visiting this page.

  • Work Sharing — The Work-Sharing program by Employment and Social Development Canada (EDSC) is aimed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs. EDSC is doubling the eligibility period for the Work-Sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks. Get more info on the Work-Sharing program here.

The Department of Finance Canada continuously posts updates on support for Canadians and businesses on this page:


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