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What to do When an Employee Resigns after Being Recalled to Return to Work
Employers Asked, We Answered

As restrictions begin to lift, many employers are recalling employees from temporary layoff. In some cases, employees are responding to the request to return to work by resigning. As a result, many employers are wondering whether they are complicit in an employee improperly receiving benefits if they do not inform the government benefit providers that an employee has resigned. Below, Field Law answers some of employers’ most common questions on what to do when an employee resigns after being recalled to return to work.

Do employers issue a ROE when employees resign after being recalled from temporary layoff?

It depends. An amended ROE must be issued when an employer needs to change, correct or update the information entered on a previously issued ROE. If there is anything owing to the employee, a new ROE must be filed. For example, if an employer has to pay accrued but unused vacation to the employee because of the permanent separation, then a new ROE must be filed. If there is nothing owing to the employee upon resignation, an updated ROE does not have to be filed. Without more, a different reason for issuance is not sufficient to require that a new ROE be issued. Having said that, employers are not prohibited from filing an updated ROE to indicate the employee’s resignation; employers are simply not required to do so.

Do employees still receive government benefits after they resign?

When an employee resigns or voluntarily quits their job, they are no longer entitled to receive Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits or Canada Emergency Response Benefits (“CERB”).  However, if the employee continues to represent eligibility to government benefit providers, they might continue to receive government benefits.

How do government programs know employees are no longer employed?

The obligation is on the employee to advise government programs of a change in employment status and any change in eligibility for such programs. Employers are obligated to issue ROEs when required (see above), accurately report employee information on ROEs and to respond to Service Canada requests for information.

What happens to employees that improperly receive CERB or EI benefits?

While an ROE is not required to apply for CERB, employees may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify their eligibility at a future date. If an employee is unable to provide such documentation, employees may be required to repay CERB that was improperly received and potentially face penalties for misrepresentation.

Similarly, employees receiving EI benefits are required to report any separation from employment, the reasons for the separation, and record any efforts to obtain new employment. Employees may be required to repay or pay penalties for EI benefits that are improperly received due to the employee’s misrepresentation.

Is there anything else I can do to avoid an employee improperly receiving benefits?

The Government of Canada is encouraging citizens to report instances of suspected benefit cheating. Accordingly, employers may also choose to report a lead on suspected benefit cheating to the Canada Revenue Agency. Click here for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding employer obligations on any separation from employment, please contact the lawyers in Field Law’s Labour + Employment group.