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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

When an ROE can give you ROI

There is an abundance of information out there now on the post-covid mental health challenges that much of the population are facing. There are also numerous physical conditions that require medical attention and often required care has been deferred. Moreover, many Canadians are itching for a vacation away that is long overdue- in some cases lengthy oversees visits to family.

These challenges can often leave dealerships struggling with trying to manage poor attendance, inferior performance when staff are at work, and unpredictable extended absences.

When these types of issues arise, it is often hard to see the value in having an employee away. There is value, however.

An employee who is struggling to stay engaged and is dealing with challenges outside of work can pose a safety risk, deplete profitability, impact morale and needs support.

Sometimes the best way to support them is through a permitted absence from work (leave time).

An ROE is required to be issued anytime an employee has an "interruption of earnings" and you have 5 days to issue the ROE to Service Canada. As an example, this means that an employee who has used up their sick and/or vacation and then takes a 2-week medical leave needs an ROE, or an employee who opts to take that leave and not use vacation would also need an ROE.

Issuing the ROE provides the employee with the option to apply for benefits- this often results in greater peace of mind and the increased likelihood of better recovery before a return to work. Although there are many specifics of when (or when not) to issue an ROE, for this discussion, suffice it to say an ROE is issued when your people are away from work for an extended period without pay.

When an employee is not fully functioning in the workplace, it can be costly. Lost productivity, poor morale, increased errors, unpredictability, and safety violations are all risks.

Sometimes the best way to help the dealership through these challenges is to help the employees address what they need to- away from work.

This does not mean that dealerships are at the mercy of employee whims, but it does mean that having patience, clear follow up, solid documentation and sincere compassion can have positive results when real challenges are present.

Instead of having an employee (and a department) floundering for ongoing productivity, offering unpaid leave to address challenges, working with medical notes for stress leave and having open conversations with those that are appearing to struggle with fulfilling duties can lead to greater long-term retention, performance, and a safer workplace.

It also holds real benefits for your staff. Knowing that they are not "forced" to perform when unable, having the reassurance of an approved absence instead of ad hoc unapproved tardiness and a performance, or return to work plan to follow all increase the likelihood of faster return, more focussed performance and greater productivity. Additionally, this approach can improve retention, employer branding and safety. It can also reduce service delays, WSIB/WCB costs, workplace tension and dissension.

So, the next time your dealership is faced with the hard decision between limping through precarious attendance or permitting the leave- consider if that ROE can give you a stronger ROI by investing in the process of having staff away to deal with what they need to address.

Do you need help addressing any of these challenges? Not sure how to create a solid return to work or performance plan? Do you need a better system to track and manage the documents and records that these issues required?

We can help! Please email us at to find out more.

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