Establishing the number of insurable hours for Record of Employment (ROE) purposes

Hours of work are used to determine if workers are entitled to benefits and for how long. Employers have to keep records.

Note

For information on how to report the total hours of insurable employment, contact your Service Canada office or visit Service Canada.

If your employee leaves or there's an interruption of earnings, you have to report these hours on a Record of Employment.

Ways of determining the number of insurable hours

For an employee who is paid hourly

The number of insurable hours is the number of hours actually worked and paid.

For an employee who is not paid hourly

If the employer knows the number of hours that the employee actually worked and for which he or she was paid, we consider the employee to have that number of insurable hours. For example, an employee who is paid on an annual basis, but whose employment contract specifies 32 hours as the usual hours of work per week would be credited with 32 insurable hours.

Note

If the employer does not know the actual number of hours worked, the employer and the employee can agree on the number of insurable hours of work for which he or she is paid. For example, an agreement on hours on the value of piecework would determine the number of insurable hours. However, if no contract or agreement on hours exists or can be reached, we determine the number of insurable hours by dividing the insurable earnings by the minimum wage. The result cannot be more than seven hours per day or 35 hours per week.

Hours limited by federal or provincial statutes

Full-time employees who are limited by law to less than 35 hours per week will be credited 35 insurable hours per week. Part-time employees in these circumstances are credited with a proportionate number of hours.

Military and police

Full-time members of the Canadian Forces or a police force will be credited 35 insurable hours per week, unless the employer keeps and provides the actual number of hours worked.

Overtime hours accumulated and paid at a later date or paid on termination of employment

One hour of overtime work equals one hour of insurable employment, even if the rate of pay is higher. Overtime hours accumulated and paid at a later date, or paid on termination of employment, are equally insurable when the parties can establish the effective hours worked. The insurable hours will be the hours actually worked and not the hours accumulated at a rate greater than the regular one.

Example

An employee works 20 hours of overtime, so he accumulates 30 hours (1.5 × number of hours worked). At the end of the year, the worker asks his employer to be paid for his accumulated hours. The number of insurable hours will correspond to the actual hours worked, which is 20 hours in this case.

Worker called in to work

The number of insurable hours equals the number of hours paid.

Stand-by hours

Stand-by hours are insurable if:

  • the stand-by hours are paid at a rate equal to or above the rate paid for the hours the employee would have worked; or
  • the employee is present at the employer's premises, waiting for the employer to request his services, as required under a contract of employment, and these hours are paid, regardless of the rate paid.

Public holiday

One hour of work on a public holiday equals one hour of insurable employment, even if the rate of pay is higher.

Paid leave

One hour of vacation time taken, paid sick leave, or compensatory time off is considered to be one insurable hour.

Remuneration paid with no hours attached

An employee who receives vacation pay without actually taking any leave does not generate any insurable hours. This also applies to such remuneration as bonuses, gratuities, and lieu-of-notice payments.

For more information on how to determine hours of insurable employment, see Insurable Hours.