Employment Insurance (EI) – information for employers
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Service Canada works closely with employers to ensure that the EI program is administered fairly and efficiently. You play an important role by meeting your responsibilities regarding the EI program.
The Digest of Entitlement Principles
The Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles contains the principles applied by the Employment Insurance Commission when providing information and guidance on legislative and regulatory requirements. These principles are also applied when making decisions on claims for EI benefits under the Employment Insurance Act and its regulations.
Preparing records of employment
You must issue records of employment (ROEs) for employees who have received insurable earnings and who experience an interruption of earnings when they stop working. The ROE is the single most important document in the EI program.
For information on completing ROEs for employees, visit:
- record of employment
- how to complete the ROE form
- how to complete the ROE for teachers and school board employees
- access record of employment on the web (ROE Web)
Records of employment during COVID-19
We're providing additional information to help employers issue ROEs for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have employees who stopped working because of COVID-19, you must issue their ROEs within the set timeframe.
Block 16 - Reason for issuing this ROE
Block 16 should indicate the reason for the employee's leave or separation from employment, or the reason why the ROE is being issued. Don't add comments unless absolutely necessary.
When the employee is no longer working because the business has decreased operations or closed due to COVID-19, use code A (shortage of work).
When the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (illness or injury).
When the employee doesn't report to work because they refuse to comply with your mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, use code E (quit) or code N (leave of absence).
When you suspend or terminate an employee for not complying with your mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, use code M (dismissal or suspension).
If you use these codes, we may contact you to determine:
- if you had adopted and clearly communicated to all employees a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy
- if the employees were informed that failure to comply with the policy would result in loss of employment
- if the application of the policy to the employee was reasonable within the workplace context
- if there were any exemptions for refusing to comply with the policy
Records of employment for employees who received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
If you're paying your employees with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), only issue ROEs for those who have an interruption of earnings when the CEWS ends.
If your employees are still off work when their CEWS ends, they can apply for EI benefits. If they do, we'll use their ROEs to determine if they qualify for EI benefits. It will be important that the ROE accurately report all earnings, including the CEWS, and all hours worked.
Employees who are in insurable employment before receiving CEWS continue to be in insurable employment once in receipt of the CEWS, if that is the only thing that has changed. This remains true even if the employee is not working while receiving the CEWS. For information on insurability, contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Block 15A – Total insurable hours
Block 15A should equal the number of insurable hours the employee would normally have worked before receiving the CEWS.
Employee off work
Whether an employee continues to receive a full salary or a partial salary while off work, the number of insurable hours for the period of leave doesn't change. The number of insurable hours equals the number of hours the employee would normally have accumulated if they had been working during this time.Footnote 1
Block 15C – Insurable earnings by pay period
Block 15C should equal the total amount paid to the employee in each pay period, including any CEWS received.Footnote 2
- Your employee is paid their normal salary, with 75% coming from the CEWS and 25% from you. Because the full amount is insurable, enter this amount in Block 15C
- Your employee is paid 75% of their normal salary, all of which comes from the CEWS. The 75% is insurable. Enter this amount in Block 15C
Deducting and remitting EI premiums
You have to deduct EI premiums from each dollar of your employees' insurable earnings, up to a yearly maximum. You must also contribute 1.4 times the amount of EI premiums that you deduct from your employees' pay.
For information on EI premiums, including how to calculate the amount to deduct from your employees' insurable earnings, visit EI premiums.
Obtaining an EI premium reduction
EI premium reductions are granted through the EI Premium Reduction Program. If you provide your employees with a short-term disability plan that meets certain requirements, you may be entitled to pay an EI premium rate that is lower than the standard employer rate.
Supplementing EI benefits
You can provide supplemental payments to increase your employees' revenue while they're receiving EI benefits. Supplemental payments aren't deducted from employees' EI benefits when certain requirements are met.
You can provide 2 types of supplemental payments:
- supplemental payments provided through the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Program to employees receiving EI benefits during a period of temporary stoppage of work, training or illness
- supplemental payments ("top-ups") provided to employees receiving maternity, parental, compassionate care or family caregiver benefits
Managing changes to your workforce
As an employer, there are times when you may face economic downturns and other financial challenges that impact your business, including those that require you to reduce your workforce to remain competitive. The following services can help you navigate these challenges:
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