It is important to be aware of the minimum standards that must be respected regarding your rights as a worker in Quebec. By understanding the rights that you are entitled to, you may have better employment experiences. Working conditions in which your rights are not respected is exploitative employment. Domestic workers (caregivers) deserve dignity and proper employment conditions, like all other workers.
Here are a few of the basic rights entitled to you as a domestic worker in Quebec:
1. You cannot be paid below the minimum wage of $10.55 per hour. Keep in mind that the minimum wage changes each year on May 1st.
2. You must be paid by cash or cheque in regular intervals that do not exceed 16 days and your employer must provide you with a paysheet that includes:
- name of the employer and employee
- job/occupation title
- date of payment and the work period corresponding to the payment
- number of hours and hourly rate
- number of overtime hours and overtime pay or replacement leave
- total amount of wages before deductions and any deductions taken from your wages
- total amount of net wages to be paid to the employee
3. If you are living with your employer, they cannot require that you pay them for lodging or meals, or that they deduct from your wages for these costs.
4. If you must wear a uniform or special clothing (including gloves, eye protection, or face masks) your employer must provide it free of charge.
5. A standard workweek is 40 hours. Any additional working hours are considered overtime hours, for which you should be paid at a 50% increase (time and a half) per hour, or at your request, may be taken as time off.
6. You should be paid for any trial or training period that is required by your employer.
7- You are entitled to a 30 minute break after 5 consecutive hours of work. If you leave the work premises this break is unpaid, however, if you do not leave the work premises this break should be included in your pay.
8. An employee may refuse to work: the day after working more than 4 hours after his regular working hours, or more than 14 hours per 24 hour period, or more than 12 hours if the working hours are non-continuous. Also, an employee may refuse to work: a given week after more than 50 hours, unless there is an authorization to stagger working hours.
9. You are entitled to be paid for work on statutory holidays and annual leave, depending on the amount of time you have worked for an employer (generally more than one year).
10. If you have worked for the same employer for more than 3 months, your employer must provide you with a notice of termination before the final date of your employment. The duration of the notice varies depending on the amount of time you have worked for that employer. If the employer does not give you a proper duration of notice, you should be paid compensation indemnity.
For more and complete information regarding the labour standards please refer to the CNT website (http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/en/home/index.html) and/or download these pamphlets:
- CNT Information Pamphlet for Domestic Workers Residing with their Employer: http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/pdf/publications/c_0187a.pdf
- CNT pamphlet on Labour Standards: http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/pdf/publications/c_0149a.pdf
The information provided on this page is current as of November 6, 2015.