Why Setting Up Record of Employment (ROE) Should Be A Priority
If you are a business owner with employees setting your business up for issuing ROE should be on your PRIORITY list!
(a) the process for getting set up for ROE takes a while,
(b) yet they are due very quickly after an employee leaves a job and
(c) there are potentially sizeable penalties for missing the deadline.
Service Canada has a long and (overly) convoluted process to get set up for ROE.
NOTE: ROE’s themselves must be filed within a few days of an employee leaving the job, no matter what reason.
So, by the time an employee quits, gets laid off or otherwise leave, and they need their ROE’s, if you are not already set up it will be too late to do so without your company being exposed to fines and/or penalties (up to $2,000). You might also be exposed to civil liability if the ex-employee suffers hardship from not being able to collect EI in a timely fashion due to your late-filing.
Common misconception #1:
My employee quit, so s/he is not eligible for EI and I don’t have to issue a ROE.
Nope. Employees need their last year of employment history when applying for EI, not just the history of the last job they worked at. So, if they apply for EI within a year of leaving your employment, Service Canada will ask them for the last year of employment history. And if your part of that history is missing, red flags go up and you can expect some possibly unpleasant letter(s).
There are two ways to file ROE’s:
- Paper ROE forms are generally the fastest to get, but you are still looking at about 2 weeks wait time. As of January 2019, the phone number to call to order paper form is 1-800-367-5693.
- Set-up an account with ROE on the Web which will take approximately a whole month, at least, to complete the process. (I’ll discuss below why it’s my recommended option).
Common misconception #2:
My bookkeeper/accountant can file ROE for my business on short notice.
Maybe. Bookkeeper or accountants will most certainly be set up to access your CRA accounts, but EI falls under Service Canada… another department and not one that all bookkeepers/accountants set themselves up with in terms of servicing their clients. You better have that discussion with them first if that’s what you rely on.
And even if they can do it, Service Canada can take a while to process the required authorization form.
Real story: I requested ROE authorizations from our own ROEWeb portal for three of our clients over the course of two months last fall. The first two showed the status “pending approval” for over two months and we couldn’t file their ROE for all that time. The day after I requested the third authorization, the three of requests got approve within 15 minutes of each other – such that the first two I sent took two months to process, and the last one sent took less than 48 hours.
We do recommend that you set yourself up with ROEWeb because it gives you the most control and most unlimited access.
It allows you to, among many things:
- Authorize people as delegates on your account instantly;
- Change who is delegated on your account instantly;
- Manage your profile and update your contact information;
- And, of course, easily file ROE’s for your company *.
* On this last point, filing out the paper ROE can take a while in terms of gathering and arranging the information, as well as filling out the form correctly. But if you are set up for ROEWeb and also use a software to run your payroll, most software will export an electronic ROE file that you can simply upload to ROEWeb. Correct format. Correct information. Fraction of the time and energy.
THE PROCESS FOR SETTING UP ROEWEB
- Start with going to this website: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-roe/register-roe.html
- You will set up your personal and business profile: name, contact information, business number, etc.
- Service Canada will then send a notification to CRA and you will have to either call CRA (give yourself at least 20 minutes to do so) or go into Service Canada.
- When you call CRA you will get a bunch of menu options. TIP: Press 4, then press 5 and press 5 again. This will get you straight to an agent.
- CRA agent will ask you to confirm some information to prove you are who you are. TIP: Have your last personal tax return handy.
- OR You can go to your local Service Canada office to verify your ID. You’ll need the reference number that showed when you created your ROEWeb account and two acceptable pieces of ID (i.e. Driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, Indian status card).
- Once the CRA agent (or Service Canada rep, if you opted for that) has confirmed your information he/she will send you an Authorization Code by snail mail. That usually takes two to four weeks to arrive.
- When you receive that code in the mail, you need to log back into your ROE Web account and enter it.
Et voila! That completes the process and once you have done that you will always be able to file ROEs on time, or quickly authorize someone else to do it for you.
I hope this post will save you some grief, time and money!