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Mastering the Canadian ROE: Best Practices and Standards for Submitting a Record of Employment



Introduction: Understanding the Importance of the Record of Employment (ROE)


Let's dive into the world of employment records and understand why the Record of Employment (ROE) is such an important document in Canada.


The ROE is basically a record of an employee's earnings history and employment details. It serves as a crucial document for both employees and employers, providing valuable information about an individual's work history and income.


So, why is the ROE so significant? Well, it plays a key role in various aspects of employment. For employees, it helps determine eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, such as maternity leave or unemployment benefits. Employers also rely on the ROE to calculate employee entitlements like vacation pay or severance pay. But it must be completed regardless of whether or not an employee wishes to apply for EI benefits. It is your legal requirement to file accurately, and on time.


In a nutshell, the ROE acts as a reliable source of information that ensures accurate reporting of earnings and provides support during times when employees need financial assistance. So, understanding its importance can go a long way in navigating how to submit one smoothly.


Now that we've got a grasp on what the ROE is all about, let's explore its various aspects and how it impacts both employees and employers.


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Submitting an ROE: Essential Information You Need to Know


Alright, let's dive into the essential information you need to know when submitting an ROE (Record of Employment). Whether you're a business owner or an employee, understanding the ROE submission process is crucial.


First things first, you'll need to gather the necessary information for your ROE. This typically includes details such as the employee's name, Social Insurance Number (SIN), employment start and end dates, reason for issuing the ROE, and any earnings or deductions during their employment.


Nowadays, you have options when it comes to submitting an ROE. You can choose to submit it electronically through your payroll software or by using the Government of Canada's online platform. Alternatively, if electronic submission isn't feasible for you, you can still submit a paper copy by mail or in person.


Remember, accuracy is key when filling out an ROE. Double-check all the information before hitting that submit button or sealing up that envelope. Making sure everything is correct will help avoid any delays or issues down the line.


So whether you're going digital or sticking with paper-based submission, knowing these essential details will make submitting an ROE a breeze.



1. Deadlines for Submitting an ROE


Alright, let's talk about the deadlines for submitting an ROE (Record of Employment). We all know that deadlines can be a bit stressful, but when it comes to ROE submissions, it's important to stay on top of things.


The timeline for submitting an ROE depends on the specific situation. When submitting electronically, employers are required to submit an ROE within five calendar days after the end of the pay period in which an employee's employment ends or interruption of earnings occur. This gives them enough time to gather all the necessary information and complete the form accurately.


If you’re submitting a paper ROE, the deadline is even faster - five calendar days from when the interruption of earnings occurs. This is one of the reasons we always recommend submitting electronically.


Now, what happens if you miss the deadline? Well, unfortunately, there can be penalties for late submission. The penalties vary depending on your jurisdiction and can include fines up to $2000 or other consequences (including jail time, believe it or not! Yep, the CRA takes ROEs very seriously). You could also be sued for damages incurred as a result of your late submission. So it's always best to make sure you meet those submission deadlines to avoid any unnecessary headaches.


You’ll also need to keep a copy of the ROE (paper or electronic) for 6 years after the year they are issued for.


Remember, staying organized and being aware of these timelines will help you navigate through the process.



2. Understanding Interruption of Earnings on an ROE


So, what exactly is an interruption of earnings on an ROE? Well, it's basically a fancy term that refers to situations where your earnings are temporarily halted or disrupted.

Now, let's dive into the situations that qualify as an interruption of earnings on an ROE. This can include the following:

  • Temporary layoff (over 7 consecutive calendar days)

  • Any time salary dips below 60% due to the leave

  • Quitting or termination

  • Leaves such as for pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoption, or family care for critical illness

  • Injury, illness or quarantine

  • Strike

  • Returning to school

  • Company shutdown or bankruptcy

Basically, any time where there is a break in the regular flow of income, it can be considered as an interruption of earnings.


But an ROE can also be issued when there isn’t an interruption of earnings. They need to be issued when there is a change of pay periods, a change in company ownership, or anytime the CRA requests one.


Understanding this concept is important because it affects things like the eligibility for employment insurance benefits and how they are calculated. It will also let you know which Code to select under the Reason for Issuing ROE.



3. Paper Submission vs. Electronic Submission: Pros and Cons


When it comes to submitting a Record of Employment (ROE), you have two options: the traditional paper submission process or the more modern electronic submission process. Each method has its own pros and cons, so let's take a closer look.


Paper submission has been the tried and true method for years. It involves printing out the necessary forms, manually filling them out, and then physically mailing or delivering them to the appropriate authorities. The advantage of this method is that it can be easily understood by those who are not tech-savvy. However, it does have its drawbacks. Paper submissions can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and require additional resources like printer ink and postage fees.


On the other hand, electronic submission offers a more streamlined process. With just a few clicks, you can submit your ROE online through designated government portals or payroll software. This method saves time and reduces the chances of errors since automated systems often catch mistakes before submission. Additionally, electronic submissions eliminate the need for physical storage space for paper records.


However, electronic submissions may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals or businesses may not have access to the CRA’s ROE web service, or may struggle with navigating digital platforms. Additionally, there might be concerns about data security when submitting sensitive information online (you should NEVER email someone an ROE).


In conclusion, both paper and electronic methods have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to submitting an ROE. It ultimately depends on your personal preference, technological capabilities, and specific circumstances that will determine which method is best suited for you or your organization's needs.



Tips and Best Practices for Completing an Accurate and Effective ROE


The most important aspect of filling out a Record of Employment is the accuracy. You’ll be inputting a lot of information - so make sure you double check everything you enter. Pull payroll reports to run against the numbers on your ROE form, and have your accountant or bookkeeper look over your work.


You are able to amend an ROE that has been filed, but we obviously recommend getting it right the first time. Of course, this isn’t always possible, should some of the information change - let’s say the employee did not provide an updated address.

Some of the areas you’ll want to take your time on include:

  • Your company’s payroll account number

  • Pay period type (this will dictate what you enter into box 150)

  • Employee’s Social Insurance Number

  • Dates worked (especially last day paid and pay period ending date - these are often not the same)

  • Reason for Issuing ROE - there is a list of codes

The Insurable Hours portion is also critical. Usually payroll software will pick this up, especially in the case of hourly employees. Where it gets tricky is when it comes to commission, salaried, or piece workers, where hours may not have been entered on the paycheques. The ROE will not accept a 0 hours entry from your software, so you'll need to input this manually per the employee's employment contract or hours log.



In Conclusion: Follow Best Practices to Ensure Smooth Submission of Your Record of Employment (ROEs)


The ROE is not something to take on if you don’t have experience filling out CRA forms, or navigating their web service platforms.


If you have questions about the Record of Employment filing process or need assistance handling your employees’ ROEs, Simcoe Office Solutions is here to help! Contact us today to get the answers and service you need.

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