EI - Employer responsibilities
Service Canada works closely with employers to ensure that the Employment Insurance (EI) program is run fairly and efficiently. As an employer, you are responsible for:
- advising employees to register for EI benefits as soon as possible after they stop working.
- accurately recording the reason for separation, hours worked, gross earnings and any money paid or payable on separation.
- ensuring the information on the Record of Employment (ROE) is accurate. If you knowingly make false or misleading statements, you may be subject to penalties.
- issuing ROEs when employees stop working. (Find out when you have to issue an ROE.):
- promptly responding to all Service Canada requests for information.
- storing blank paper ROEs in a safe place and for your business use only.
- contacting Service Canada if:
- you offer work to an EI claimant who does not accept it;
- you must pay an employee an arbitration award or similar settlement.
Can Service Canada request employee information?
Under subsection 126(14) of the EI Act , Service Canada has the lawful authority to request information on current or former employees as it relates to past, present or future EI claims. As an employer, you have an obligation to answer these requests. You are not obligated to inform your employees that you are providing this information. Failure to provide the requested information may result in unnecessary delays in processing your employees' EI claims.
Subsection 7(3) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) allows an employer to disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual if the disclosure is made to a government institution that has identified its lawful authority, and if it is for the purpose of enforcing any law of Canada.
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
What about provincial privacy legislation?
Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta currently have private-sector privacy legislation that applies to the disclosure of employee information by an employer. In all these cases, disclosure to a government institution is permitted, as long as the government institution has the lawful authority to obtain that information. Subsection 126(14) of the EI Act gives Service Canada the lawful authority to request information about a specific employee.
Protecting the Employment Insurance program for all Canadians - With your help
We send Request for Payroll Information forms to employers if we detect the possibility of unreported or misreported earnings while an individual is receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
The payroll information employers send us on these completed forms helps us identify cases where employees may be collecting EI benefits while working and are either not reporting or misreporting their earnings.
While most claimants declare their work and earnings accurately, there are some exceptions. When we identify an overpayment, we conduct an investigation. Any overpayments we identify must be repaid by the individual.
As an employer, you pay EI premiums, so ensuring that EI benefits are being paid to the right person at the right time is in your interest as well as Service Canada’s. We all want to maintain the integrity of one of Canada’s key social programs.
You can help detect and prevent EI abuse by responding promptly to Request for Payroll Information forms we send you and by participating in the Automated Earnings Reporting System or the Report on Hirings program.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act allows businesses to disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of an employee if the disclosure is made to a government institution, such as Service Canada, that has the lawful authority to request the information. This information is used for the purpose of administering the Employment Insurance Act.
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