Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has posted updated guidelines on issuing Records of Employment (ROEs) for employees refusing to comply with mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, thereby either suspended, terminated or placed on leave.
Anytime an employee has stopped working due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are required to issue ROEs within specific timeframes. In Block 16 of the ROE, employers must enter a code which coresponds with the reason that the employee is not working (or if applicable, another reason the ROE is being issued).
According to the guidance from ESDC, employers are to use the following codes for reasons related to COVID-19:
- Code A (Shortage of Work) – The business has reduced operations or closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Code D (Illness or Injury) – The employee is sick or quarantined.
- Code E (Quit) or Code N (Leave of Absence) – The employee is not coming to work because they refuse to comply with the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
- Code M (Dismissal) – The employee is suspended or terminated for failure to comply with the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
When the above codes are used, ESDC may contact the employer to verify the following:
- that a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy was implemented and clearly communicated to all employees
- that employees were informed that non-compliance with the vaccination policy would result in suspension/termination/being placed on leave
- if applicable of the vaccination policy was reasonable
- if any exemptions were available for refusal to comply with the vaccination policy
Visit this ESDC webpage to see the updated guidelines.