Canada: Minimum Labour Standards

The Labour Standards Act sets out the minimum working conditions in Québec. Naturally, a collective agreement or individual contract of employment may provide for better working conditions. This law is of public order and any agreement contrary to its provisions or providing for inferior working conditions is null and void. To provide for the funding of the administration of the Act, every employer is required to pay the Minister of Revenue an annual contribution of 0.08% of all the wages subject to contribution which he pays or is deemed to pay in respect of a calendar year. The following is a summary of the minimum working conditions under the Labour Standards Act.

Minimum wage

The minimum hourly wage in Québec has been set at $11.25 effective May 1, 2017. Employees in the restaurant and hotel sector who usually receive gratuities are entitled to a minimum rate of $9.45 per hour, effective May 1, 2017. It should be noted that the minimum wage does not apply to an apprentice who participates in an apprenticeship program nor to an employee remunerated entirely on commission who works outside the employer's place of business and whose working hours cannot be controlled.

Equal wage rate and vacation benefit for part-time employees

Unless a part-time employee is paid more than twice the minimum wage, it is prohibited to remunerate him or her at a lower wage rate than that paid or granted to full-time employees performing the same tasks in the same establishment, for the sole reason that the employee works part-time.

Payment of salary

Wages must be paid in cash or by cheque in a sealed envelope. The payment may be made by bank transfer provided the employee agrees to it in writing. Wages must be paid at intervals of not more than 16 days, or one (1) month in the case of managerial personnel.

However, any bonus or overtime earned during the week preceding payment of the wages may be paid with the subsequent payment.

Pay sheet

The employer must remit to the employee, together with his salary, a pay sheet which must include:

  • the name of the employer;
  • the surname and given name of the employee;
  • the identification of the employee's occupation;
  • the date of the payment and the work period corresponding to the payment;
  • the number of hours paid at the prevailing rate;
  • the number of hours of overtime paid or replaced by leave with the applicable premium;
  • the nature and the amount of the bonuses, indemnities, allowances or commissions that are being paid;
  • the wage rate;
  • the amount of wages before deductions;
  • the nature and the amount of the deductions made;
  • the amount of the net wages paid to the employee;
  • the amount of the tips reported by the employee; and
  • the amount of the tips the employer has attributed to the employee.

Register

The employer must maintain a register indicating the name, surname, residence, social insurance number, occupation and date of hiring of each employee, as well as the following particulars for each pay period:

  • the number of hours worked per day;
  • the total number of hours worked per week;
  • the number of overtime hours paid or compensated for by a day off with the applicable premium;
  • the number of days worked per week;
  • the wage rate;
  • the nature and the amount of the bonuses, indemnities, allowances or commissions that are being paid;
  • the amount of the gross wages;
  • the nature and amount of the deductions made;
  • the amount of the net wages paid to the employee;
  • the work period corresponding to payment;
  • the date of payment;
  • the reference year;
  • the duration of the annual vacation;
  • the departure date of the annual vacation with pay;
  • the date on which was entitled to a general holiday with pay or to another day of holiday, including the compensatory holidays for general holidays with pay;
  • the amount of the tips reported by the employee;
  • the amount of the tips attributed to the employee by the employer; and
  • in the case of an employee under 18 years of age, his date of birth.

The register for each year must be kept for at least three (3) years.

Deductions from wages

The employer may not make deductions from wages unless he is required to do so pursuant to an act, a regulation, a court order, a collective agreement, an order or decree or a mandatory supplemental pension plan. The employer may make deductions from wages if he is authorized to do so by the employee, in writing, and for a specific purpose. The employee may at any time revoke that authorization except where it pertains to membership in a group insurance plan or a supplemental pension plan.

Gratuities

Any gratuity paid directly or indirectly by an employer to an employee in the hotel and restaurant business belongs to the employee and does not form part of the wages that are otherwise due to him or her. Nevertheless, minimum call-in pay, statutory holiday, vacation, leaves for family events, notice of termination of employment or layoff and benefits under the Employment Insurance Act are to be computed on the basis of wages, increased by the amount of tips attributed or reported pursuant to the Taxation Act.

Overtime

Except for security guards, employees working in a sawmill or forestry operation and employees working in a remote area, the regular work week is 40 hours. Any work performed beyond 40 hours is considered overtime work and must be remunerated at time and a half. Overtime is not payable to all employees; for example, managers or employees who work outside the establishment and whose working hours cannot be controlled are not entitled to overtime. The employer may, at the request of the employee or in the cases provided for by a collective agreement or a decree, replace the overtime by a paid leave equivalent to the overtime worked plus 50% (for example, if an employee has worked four (4) hours of overtime, he may be entitled to a six-hour paid leave). The leave must be taken within the 12 months following the overtime at a date agreed upon between the employer and the employee; otherwise the overtime must be paid.

The Labour Standards Act does, however, set limits on the amount of overtime hours you may require an employee to work. An employee may refuse to work more than four (4) hours beyond his or her regular work day, or for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period, whichever period is shorter. If an employee works flex or non-continuous hours, the employee may refuse to work more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

The Labour Standards Act also allows an employee to refuse to work more than 50 hours in a week.

As an employer, however, you may nonetheless require an employee to work hours in excess of these limits in emergency situations, such as where there is a danger to the life, health or safety of the employees.

Upon obtaining the authorization of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (the "CNESST"), an employer may stagger the working hours of employees such that employees work on a basis other than a weekly basis.

Minimum call-in pay

An employee who reports for work at the express demand of his employer or in the regular course of his employment and works fewer than three (3) consecutive hours is entitled to an indemnity equal to three (3) hours' pay, except where the nature of the job is such that it is normally completed within three (3) hours or where the nature of the work requires the employee to be present several times in the same day (e.g. school crossing guard).

Presumption that employee is at work

An employee is deemed to be at work when he or she is available to the employer at the place of employment and is required to wait for work to be assigned, as well as during the break periods granted by the employer, when travel is required by the employer or during any trial period or training required by the employer.

Statutory holidays

The following days are statutory holidays:

  • January 1 (New Year's Day);
  • Good Friday or Easter Monday, at the option of the employer;
  • the Monday preceding May 25 (Victoria Day);
  • July 1 or July 2 if July 1 falls on a Sunday (Canada Day);
  • the first Monday in September (Labour Day);
  • the second Monday in October (Thanksgiving Day); and
  • December 25 (Christmas Day).

An employee required to work on a statutory holiday is entitled to be paid a compensatory indemnity equal to 1/20 of the wages earned during the four (4) complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday, excluding overtime. If an employee is remunerated on commission, the indemnity must be equal to 1/60 of the wages earned during the 12 complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday.

Should an employee be required to work on a statutory holiday, the employee is entitled to receive, in addition to his or her regular pay, the indemnity mentioned above or to be granted a compensatory day off at a date agreed to by the employer and the employee, which must be taken within the three (3) weeks preceding or following the holiday, unless a collective agreement or a decree provides for a longer period.

If the employee is on vacation on a statutory holiday, the employer must pay him or her the above-mentioned indemnity or give the employee a compensatory day off at a date agreed upon by both parties.

general, employees qualify for statutory holidays as soon as they commence employment. However, in order to be entitled to a holiday, the employee must not be absent from work without the employer's authorization or without valid cause on the day preceding or following the holiday.

June 24, Québec National Holiday

With regard to June 24, different rules apply, as it falls under the National Holiday Act. If June 24 falls on a Sunday, the National Holiday will be held on June 25. The employer must pay the employee a compensatory indemnity equal to 1/20 of the wages earned during the four complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday, excluding overtime. If an employee is remunerated on commission, the indemnity must be equal to 1/60 of the wages earned during the 12 complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday. For the National Holiday, employees are automatically entitled to holiday pay for that day.

In any establishment or service where, by reason of the nature of its activities, work is not interrupted on June 24, the employer, in addition to paying to the employee working on June 24 the wages for the work done, must pay the above indemnity or grant the employee a compensatory holiday, which must be taken on the working day preceding or following June 24. If June 24 falls on a day which is not a regular working day for the employee, the employer must pay the above indemnity or grant a compensatory holiday which must be taken on the working day preceding or following June 24. If June 24 falls during the vacation of an employee, he is entitled to a compensatory holiday, which must be taken at a date agreed upon between the employee and the employer.

Vacation

An employee progressively accrues vacation entitlements during a reference year. In Québec, unless there is an agreement between the employer and the employee fixing a different starting date, the reference year extends from May 1 of the preceding year to April 30 of the current year.

The Labour Standards Act provides that the employee who is hired at any given time of the year must wait until the end of the reference year to take a vacation.

If, at the end of the reference year, the employee has less than one (1) year of uninterrupted service with the employer, he is entitled to an uninterrupted leave for a duration of one (1) day per month of service up to a maximum of two (2) weeks.

The employee, who at the end of a reference year has more than one (1) year but less than five (5) years of uninterrupted service with the employer is entitled to a minimum of two (2) consecutive weeks of vacation. In addition, the employee may apply for an additional leave without pay equal to the number of days required to increase his annual leave to three (3) weeks.

The employee, who at the end of a reference year is credited with five (5) years of uninterrupted service is entitled to a vacation for a minimum duration of three (3) consecutive weeks. However, any employer who, before March 29, 1995, closed his establishment for the period of annual vacation, may divide the vacation of such an employee into two (2) periods, one being the closing period. One (1) of those periods must, however, last for a minimum of two (2) consecutive weeks.

Vacation must be taken during the 12 months following the end of the reference year. The employer may, at the request of the employee, allow him or her to take the annual leave, or part of it, during the reference year. Furthermore, if at the end of the 12 months following the end of a reference year, the employee is absent due to sickness, an organ or tissue donation for transplant, an accident or a criminal offense or is absent or on leave for personal or family reasons, the employer may, at the employee's request, defer the annual leave to the following year. If it is not deferred, the employee must be paid the indemnity to which he or she is entitled.

The vacation may be divided into two (2) periods at the request of the employee. However, the employer may refuse the request if he closes his establishment for a period equal to or greater than that of the employee's vacation. The employee cannot divide his or her vacation into more than two (2) periods without the employer's consent. A leave not exceeding one (1) week cannot be divided.

The employer determines the date of the employee's vacation. However, the employer must let the employee know his or her vacation dates at least four (4) weeks in advance.

It is prohibited to replace a vacation by a compensatory indemnity. In other words, employees must take their vacations. However, the third week of vacation may, at the request of the employee, be replaced by a compensatory indemnity if the establishment closes for two (2) weeks on the occasion of the annual vacation.

The indemnity relating to the vacation is equal to 4% of the gross wages earned by the employee during the reference year if the employee has less than five (5) years of service, or 6% of the gross wages if he or she has five (5) years of service or more at the end of the reference year.

The vacation indemnity must be paid to the employee in a lump sum prior to the beginning of the vacation.

If employment is terminated before the employee is able to benefit from all the days of vacation to which he or she is entitled, the employer must pay to the employee an indemnity equivalent to 4% or 6%, as the case may be, relating to the fraction of the vacation that he or she did not take, plus 4% or 6% of the gross wages earned during the current reference year.

To view the full article please click here.

About BLG

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Littler Mendelson
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Littler Mendelson
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions