ROE Web Service

September 8th, 2012

Following is my article that appeared in the recent Business First publication…… I consider it my personal mission in life to get more businesses to use the ROE Web service!


Do you ever wonder if life would be easier without technology?  Wouldn’t it be better if you never had to wonder why your computer didn’t recognize your print driver?  Or if you never had to worry about Windows freezing during the most critical part of your day?   Have you ever fantasized tossing a rebellious piece of computer hardware off an overpass?

Computer technology gets a bad rap too often – after all, it’s easy to take out your frustrations on your computer.  I’d really like to take a couple of minutes to quickly tell you how technology can make your life a wee bit easier,  especially if you are an owner or the payroll administrator of a small or medium sized business.

Most businesses have at least one employee.  At some point or other, and for a variety of reasons, most employees need to be issued a Record of Employment form, also known as the ROE form, layoff paper, separation paper, etc.  As the name suggests, the ROE form is given to an employee when there is an interruption in his earnings, whether due to a lack of work, a sickness, or whatever.  I’ve never met a person yet who truly enjoyed doing one of these forms on paper.   And that brings me to the real point of this article:  preparing Record of Employment forms using technology.

The new online system is such an improvement over the paper forms, it makes preparing ROE forms almost fun.  The biggest challenge is getting set up.  You need to visit a Service Canada Centre as part of the registration process.  I’ll quickly outline the registration steps here, and then I’ll go on to talk about how the new system works.

  1. You download and complete a Registration Form available on the Service Canada website (just do an internet search for “roe web registration.”
  2. Visit your nearest Service Canada centre.  Bring along your Registration Form and two pieces of ID.
  3. Service Canada will then create your ROE Web account and mail you your activation code.

Once you begin to use the ROE Web service, you’ll see why it’s such an improvement.  The web service will perform validation steps, to avoid some of the more common calculation mistakes.  That means you’ll get fewer follow-up phone calls from Service Canada officers!  When you submit the ROE, your worker can retrieve it quickly when they apply for Employment Insurance benefits.  This makes it easier for them to apply for their EI, and can help avoid delays in receiving their benefits.  If, after you submit the ROE, you find you made a mistake you can even correct it online.

Probably best of all, if you use accounting software such as Simply Accounting or QuickBooks, you can export the payroll information directly to the ROE Web service.  As long as your payroll numbers are accurate in your software, you can have even a complex ROE done in a matter of minutes!

So again, if you are an employer still using the old paper ROE forms, make this a priority.  Go to the Service Canada’s website, download that Registration Form, and take the first step to efficient ROE forms.

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Looking for paper Record of Employment (ROE) forms?  Service Canada has (again) updated the ordering process.  It looks like there is now one telephone number for all of Canada.  As of the date of this posting, that phone number is 1-800-367-5693.

Remember, you can now prepare ROE forms online.  Yes, there is a bit of work involved in getting this set up, but once you’re in the system, it works great!  Read more about that service here:

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UPDATE:  click on this link for current ordering information.

I talked a few weeks back about how to register for the ROE Web service.  Many employers still prefer the old paper Record of Employment (ROE) forms.  And many people seem to have a bit of trouble with finding out how to order these forms.  I’m posting a link here that should help the cause. Each province has their own telephone number.

Also, when you call there is a good chance you will talk to an answering machine, not a real person.  So be prepared in advance to give your payroll number, your business name and address, and be ready to state how many forms you want.

I still recommend that you register for the ROE Web service.  It’s so much nicer!

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Is it your job in your business to issue layoff papers, also known as separation papers, and officially known as Record of Employment forms?  If so, have you signed up for the ROE Web service yet?  It doesn’t make preparing an ROE exactly fun, but it sure takes some of the pain out of the job!

But be prepared.  It’s not a walk in the park to get registered.  Maybe you’ll all find it easier than I did.  Share your experiences of how you manage!

Note: if you are looking to order ROE paper forms, read this post:

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