Do you have full-time or part-time employees? If so, you’ve probably heard of Employment Insurance. This program, which is operated by Service Canada, helps Canadian workers when they’re unemployed by providing financial support. When one of your employees makes an EI claim, your company is automatically involved. When you understand what information you might need to provide, it’s easier to keep great employment records and ensure your current or former workers get the help they need.
Understanding the Record of Employment
As an employer, you already fill out a Record of Employment every year for each person in your company. When one of your employees has an interruption in earnings, you need to fill out a new ROE. According to Service Canada, an interruption of earnings means:
- The employee gets no insurable earnings from your company for seven consecutive calendar days
- The employee’s salary drops to less than 60% of normal weekly earnings
It doesn’t matter if the person quits, is laid off, or is only leaving for a little while — Service Canada still needs to know. You should file the ROE whether or not the employee plans to make an EI claim.
Sometimes, you might need to file another ROE when an employee is still working for you. This can happen if a worker has a second job. In this case, Service Canada approaches you to ask for the ROE.
What about part-time workers?
If you have part-time workers, or if you have people that work for you once in awhile, the ROE rules are different. For these people, you need to file a new ROE only if the person asks for it and they have stopped getting earnings from your company. You should also send one in when you remove a person from your list of active employees.
What forms do you need to submit?
Unless Service Canada requests other information, the only form you need to submit is the ROE. When you use the online ROE system, you can simply fill out the new form and send it electronically. If you choose to use a paper ROE, there are three parts. Part 1 goes to the employee, you must send Part 2 to Service Canada, and Part 3 stays in your company’s records. For both versions, the law requires you to keep these records for six years.
What information can Service Canada request during a claim?
When an employee files a claim for EI benefits, Service Canada may contact you for more information. Worried about releasing confidential details? The EI Act allows you to give information that’s related to an EI claim. In fact, by responding quickly, you can help the employee get financial help faster. You do not need to tell employees about these requests.
The same is true in Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, even though these provinces have special privacy laws. These provincial laws do not apply to EI claims — so, under the EI Act, you can still provide Service Canada with information about your employees.
EI claims help your current and former employees survive financially when they stop working. By filing ROEs quickly, you can ensure that your workers get their benefits on time.