What is an ROE?

A record of employment, commonly referred to as an ROE, is an official document used by Service Canada to determine an employees eligibility for Employment Insurance Benefits (EI). It is essential for employers to follow the guidelines outlined by the CRA when issuing ROEs to their employees. 


ROEs are kept on file with Service Canada for 11 years. They are used not only to determine eligibility for EI, but also to determine what the benefit amount will be, how long benefits will be paid out, and to eliminate the misuse of EI funds or amend benefits issued in error.


Employers can issue paper ROEs or file them electronically using ROE Web. Keep reading for more details on how to file an ROE below.


Employer ROE Obligations

Employers are required to issue an ROE anytime one of their employees experiences an interruption of earnings. An interruption of earnings occurs when:


  1. An employee has had or is anticipated to have 7 consecutive calendar days with no work and no insurable earnings or
  2. When an employee's salary falls below 60% of regular weekly earnings and their loss of income is due to illness, injury, quarantine, pregnancy/maternity leave, parental leave or compassionate care/family caregiver leave.

Employers must issue an ROE each time an employee experiences an interruption of earnings or when Service Canada requests one. You can find more information of when to issue an ROE here.


According to the CRA:


If you are issuing a paper ROE, you must issue an ROE within 5 calendar days of:

  • the first day of an interruption of earnings, or
  • the day the employer becomes aware of an interruption of earnings

If you issue ROEs electronically and your pay period is weekly, biweekly, or semi-monthly (twice a month, usually the 15th and last day of the month), you have up to 5 calendar days after the end of the pay period in which an employee's interruption of earnings occurs to issue an electronic ROE.


If you have a monthly pay period or 13 pay periods per year (every 4 weeks), you must issue electronic ROEs by whichever date is earlier:

  • 5 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 of an interruption of earnings


How to Issue an ROE

As mentioned above, there are two ways to issue ROEs: electronically through ROE Web or using paper ROEs. If this is your first time issuing an ROE, refer to the steps below to help get you setup first:


Issuing a Paper ROE

If you wish you use paper ROE forms, you need to first call into the Employer Contact Center to order the paper forms. Before you call make sure you have your 15 character payroll account number issued by the CRA. If you do not have one, you will need to request one from the CRA. You will also need to confirm the name, address and telephone number of your business. 


The paper form includes 3 copies. The first copy (original) should be given to your employee as proof of insurable earnings. The second copy (blue) must be sent to Service Canada as indicated on the form. 


The third copy (white) should be kept with your payroll records for 6 years.


Issuing an Electronic ROE

Before you can file an electronic ROE, you must ensure you are set up on ROE Web. To do this, you must register online. It is important to note that the individual in your organization responsible for your ROE Web account (referred to as the Primary Officer) must accept the ROE Web agreement on behalf of the business and must validate their identity with government issued photo identification upon registration. 


This "Primary Officer" can be changed at any time. Simply have the new Primary Officer sign in to ROE Web, click Replace Primary Officer and follow the outlined steps.


Now that you have either ordered your paper ROEs or signed up for ROE Web, you are ready to complete and issue ROEs for your employees. We strongly recommend reviewing the ROE resources provided by the CRA found here. You can also download their guide How to complete the record of employment (ROE) form. 


When completing the ROE form, whether in print or electronically, you will need to fill out basic employee & payroll information including the employees address, postal code, and SIN number as well as information about insurable hours and earnings. 


While most of this information is relatively straight forward, there is an additional field which must be completed accurate and that is the Reason for Issuing The ROE.


The reason for issuing an ROE can impact the employees eligibility for EI benefits, so it is crucial that you assign the correct reason "code" to their ROE form. Below you will find a table which outlines the different applicable codes for Box 16 on the ROE form.


You can also download our 2024 Payroll Guide for additional information on employment legislation and ROEs.


ROE Codes

ROE Codes Table

(taken from the CRA website)





Code A

Shortage of work (layoff)

Code A is the most commonly used code. Use this code when the employee is laid off, since a "shortage of work" occurs when an employer has to lay off staff. For example, if you are issuing an ROE because a contract is ending, a season is over, or you are temporarily shutting down operations, use Code A. For example (this list is not exhaustive): end of contract or season end of casual/part-time work end of school year temporary shutdown of operations permanent shutdown of operations position eliminated/redundant company restructuring employer bankruptcy or receivership

Code B

Strike or lockout

Use Code B when an employee is on strike or has been locked out of the workplace

Code C

Return to school

Service Canada is phasing out the use of this code. Instead of Code C, please use one of the following codes: If the employee is leaving to return to school, use Code E, Quit. Be sure to enter "Return to school" in Block 18 if you are using a paper ROE. If you are using ROE Web online, choose the "Return to school" option from the drop-down menu. If the employee is leaving to participate in a government-approved apprenticeship training program, use Code J, Apprentice training. Note: If you hire a student on either a summer term, co-op term or on any other basis where the term is fixed, if they fulfill their term code A, Shortage of work can be used.

Code D

Illness or injury

Use Code D when the employee is leaving work temporarily because he or she is ill or injured.

Code E


Use Code E when the employee initiates the separation from employment. For example, an employee may quit to take another job, to accompany a spouse who must move for his or her work to another location, to return to school, or to voluntarily retire, or the employee may decide to quit the position permanently because of health reasons. If you are using a paper ROE, include a comment in Block 18, Comments. For example, you could enter "Take another job," "Follow spouse," "Return to school," "Voluntary retirement," or "Health reasons." If you are using ROE Web online, choose the appropriate option from the drop-down menu. Note: If the employee is leaving the workplace because of mandatory retirement, see Code G, Retirement.

Code F


Use Code F only when a birth mother is leaving the workplace to take maternity leave. It does not apply to adoptive parents or birth fathers.


  • If the birth mother is experiencing an interruption of earnings first because of illness and then because of maternity leave, use Code D, Illness or injury, since you should use the code that applies first. In this case, there is no need to amend the ROE once the employee begins her maternity leave.
  • If the employee is a birth father or adoptive parent, see Code P, Parental.

Code G


(mandatory/approved under the Work Force Reduction program)

Use Code G when the employee is leaving the workplace because of mandatory retirement or through a Work Force Reduction approved by Service Canada. If you are using a paper ROE and the employee is retiring under an approved Work Force Reduction, enter "Approved work-force reduction" in Block 18. If you are using ROE Web online, choose the "Approved work-force reduction" option from the drop-down menu. See the Work Force Reduction program for details.


Note: If the employee is voluntarily retiring, see Code E, Quit.

Code H



Code J

Apprentice training

Use Code J if the employee is leaving the workplace temporarily to participate in a government-approved apprenticeship training program.

Code M

Dismissal or suspension

Use Code M when the employer initiates the separation from employment for any reason other than layoff or mandatory retirement (that is, the employee is leaving the workplace because he or she has been dismissed by the employer). Also use this code when the employee is suspended from their employment.


This code is also used when the employment is terminated within a probationary period because the employee was not well suited for the position (that is, the employee was not able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position). If you are using a paper ROE and the employment was terminated within the probationary period, enter "Terminated within probationary period" in Block 18, Comments. If you are using ROE Web online, choose the "Terminated within probationary period" option from the drop-down menu.

Code N

Leave of absence

Use Code N when the employee is leaving the workplace temporarily to take a leave of absence. For example, if the employee is taking any period of unpaid leave, use Code N.

Note: A leave of absence does not include illness or injury, maternity leave, parental leave, compassionate care leave, or leave for a caregiver providing care to a critically ill or injured person —instead, use Code D, Illness or injury, Code F, Maternity, Code P, Parental, or Code Z, Compassionate care/Family Caregiver respectively.

Code P


Use Code P if the employee is leaving the workplace temporarily to take parental or adoption leave.


Note: If the employee is a birth mother, see Code F, Maternity.

Code Z

Compassionate care/Family caregiver

Use Code Z if the employee is leaving the workplace temporarily to claim compassionate care benefits, or Family Caregiver Benefits.

Code K


The vast majority of reasons for issuing an ROE are covered by the above codes. Use Code K only in exceptional circumstances (see examples below). If none of the above reasons apply to the situation, use Code K, and provide an explanation in Block 18, Comments.

  • change in payroll/ownership or company name
  • change in pay period type
  • death of an employee
  • Service Canada has requested the ROE

Also in Block 16, you must enter the full name and telephone number of the person in your organization who is readily available to provide more information or clarification about the reason for issuing the ROE, if Service Canada needs it.

Failing to issue an ROE when required can have severe consequences. It is a core responsibility of employers and an unavoidable aspect of payroll management. Most payroll service providers can assist with or handle the process of issuing ROEs for you. For more information, explore our payroll guide and the other CRA resources linked above.


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