Global Compliance Desk – Quebec, Canada

Québec’s National Assembly enacted Bill 176, entitled An Act to amend the Act respecting labor standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance. The Bill was assented to on June 12, 2018. The following provisions of the Bill shall come into force on January 1, 2019:

Work Schedule

  • A work week may not exceed the standard provided for in the law by more than 10 hours.
  • Employers and employees may agree on the staggering of working hours on a basis other than a weekly basis, without the authorization of the CNESST, subject to the following conditions:
    • the agreement has a maximum term of six months and is evidenced in writing at least 30 days before the beginning of
    • the first period over which hours are staggered;
    • the hours are staggered over a maximum period of four weeks;
    • a work week may not exceed the standard provided for in the law or the regulations by more than 10 hours.
  • An employee under certain circumstances may refuse to work overtime if he or she has not been informed of the work schedule at least five days in advance. Further, an employee is required to do only 2 hours of overtime per day in addition to his regular workday hours.

Annual Leave
From January 1, 2019 employees must be credited with only 3 years of uninterrupted service to be entitled to an annual leave of 3 consecutive weeks. Currently, employees must be credited with 5 years of uninterrupted service to be eligible for an entitlement.

Vacation pay may be paid to the employee not only in one lump sum before the beginning of the holiday but also according to the terms and conditions applicable to the payment of the employee’s salary.

Leave of Absence
Removal of the requirement of continued service: Beginning January 1, 2019, the absence of leave for situations involving accidents, diseases, and serious reasons, criminal offenses, disappearance, suicide, and death, will be available to all employees irrespective of the period of service as the 3-month requirement for eligibility will be removed.

Leave for Caregivers of Family Members
Beginning January 1, 2019, employees are entitled to 10 days of family leave. The first 2 days of the 10 days of absence per year will be paid as soon as the employee is credited with 3 months of uninterrupted service, even if he has been absent previously.

Leave for accident or illness of family member: If such an accident or illness befalls a “relative” or a “person for whom the employee acts as a caregiver”, the period is increased to 16 weeks from the current 12 weeks, for every year.

  • Where the relative or person is a minor child, the period will be no more than 36 weeks, again over a 12-month period
  • In case of a serious illness that is potentially fatal, as attested by a medical certificate, the absence may be up to 27 weeks (unless the person concerned is the employee’s minor child)

Currently, employees must be credited with 3 months of uninterrupted service to take advantage of 26 weeks over a period of 12 months. From January 1st, 2019, this 3-month requirement will be removed (i.e. all employees will be eligible).

Bereavement Leave
Currently, employees may be absent from work for 1 paid day and 4 unpaid days in the event of the death or funeral of certain immediate family members. From January 1, 2019, employees will be entitled to 2 paid days and 3 unpaid days off work.

Leave for death or disappearance of a minor child: In the event of the death or disappearance of a minor child, an absence of 104 weeks may now be granted (instead of the current 52 weeks) from January 1, 2019.

Domestic Violence Leave
An employee may be absent from work for a period of not more than 26 weeks in a 12-month period due to illness, organ or tissue donation for transplant purposes or accident. The Bill proposes to extend this right to an employee who has been the victim of domestic violence as well.

Leave for the Birth, Adoption of a Child
Employees will be entitled to 2 paid days of absence in the case of the birth of a child, the adoption of a child or the termination of pregnancy in or after the twentieth week of pregnancy. From January 1, 2019, the employee is no longer be required to have 60 days of uninterrupted service to be eligible for an entitlement.

Shreya Bhattacharya
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Bhattacharya
A labor and employment lawyer at Replicon who specializes in global compliance. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. Replicon is an industry leader in global compliance and has a dedicated team which pro-actively monitors international labor regulations for ensuring proper adherence with specific country rule requirements.
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