The actual crisis affects you, it affects each and every one of us now, and no one will escape from it. One way or the other, we all need to learn to live with this new enemy that is the pandemic.

On Monday, March 23rd 2020, the Government of Quebec decided to put the province on hold. All non-essential businesses will be closed for a minimum of 3 weeks. The number of Quebecers that will need unemployment benefits has just increased tremendously.

What Are the Steps to Produce a Record of Employment

In order for your employees to have access to unemployment benefits, you should make a Record of Employment with Service Canada, which is a federal program. You can register online to make your Records of Employment for your employees.

Afterwards, a code will be sent to you by mail. There will be a delay, but it certainly is one of the quickest ways to do it. Otherwise, you can directly call Service Canada to order a paper version of a Record of Employment. If you are not comfortable with the process, you can obtain advice with a professional accountants firm.

How to File Your Record of Employment?

When your record of employment will be fully filled, your employees will have to complete theirs. The Service Canada website offers a guide on the procedure to complete the form.

What you will need to complete the form:

  • Name and surname of the employee
  • Social security number of the employee
  • First and last day of work in your company
  • Date of the last payroll period
  • Total insurable hours worked by your employee
  • Total insurable earnings and detailed insurable earnings by payroll periods for the last 26 payroll periods
  • Reason of the unemployment

Particularities During the COVID-19

Like mentioned above, you need to put a reason for the termination of employment. Under the current circumstances, the Code A applies for ‘’shortage of work’’. If the company for which the employee works had to shut down for security reasons, the Code A also applies.

The Canadian Payroll Association recommend not to fill in Block 18 (observations), as it could slow down the process of your request.

Here is a recap offered by the Desjardins Payroll Service:

‘At this time, here are the latest directives from Service Canada on the subject:

  • If your employee is sick or in quarantine due to the COVID-19, write at Block 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: ‘’Code D – Illness or injury’’
  • If your employee is not working due to work shortage or a closure due to the COVID-19, write at Block 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: ‘’Code A – Shortage of work (layoff)’’.
  • If your employee is currently not working due to reasons other than the COVID-19, write at Block 16 – Reason for issuing this ROE: ‘’Code E – Quit’’ or ‘’Code N – Leave of absence’’.’

Any Additional Measures?

There are also lightening so that the employer can pay an additional amount to top up the employment-insurance benefits. There are many requirements to be respected, but it can be interesting. The Government of Canada wrote on the subject.

Furthermore, there are also some exceptions that allow benefits for emergency care:

  • If you have to take care of your kids due to the closing of schools and kindergartens
  • If you are taking care of one of your family members affected by the COVID-19
  • If you are in quarantine.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, you could resort to benefits for emergency care.

To Produce a Good Record of Employment: Remain Informed

To fill a report as it should be, you have to stay tuned. You should take a look at our blog. If you have any question, do not hesitate in contacting us. Our team will gladly guide you during this crisis!

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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