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Due to circumstances relating to COVID-19, many employers have made the difficult decision to temporarily layoff their employees, until there is more clarity around the circumstances or until we resume our daily activities.

When an employee is laid off or terminated, employers are required to submit a Record of Employment (“ROE”) to Service Canada. The ROE directs Service Canada on whether an employee is entitled to receive Employment Insurance (“EI”). When employers issue an ROE to Service Canada, they must code it appropriately. The code provided on the ROE also tells Service Canada whether the employee is entitled to EI (i.e. if the employee was terminated for cause, they will not be entitled to EI).

The following are the codes employers have the choice of issuing on an ROE:

  • A – Work Shortage/End of Contract or Season
  • B – Strike or lockout
  • D – Illness or injury
  • E – Quit
  • F – Maternity
  • G – Retirement
  • H – Work Sharing
  • J – Apprentice training
  • K – Other
  • M – Dismissal
  • N – Leave of absence
  • P – Parental
  • Z – Compassionate care/Family caregiver

Based on these codes, if an employer lays off an employee due to business slowdowns as a result of COVID-19, the most appropriate code to issue on the ROE would be code A – Work Shortage. It is important to note that layoffs and shortage of work are classified under the same code. If an employer codes the ROE appropriately, this will ensure that the laid-off employee will be entitled to receive EI benefits.

If you have been recently laid off and have questions relating to your record of employment or otherwise, or if you have been terminated and want to know about your rights and entitlements, please contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111 or via email at mlahert@sultanlawyers.com.