What are labour standards?

In general terms, labour standards, also sometimes referred to as employment standards, are the laws that establish the minimum conditions of employment or basic rights of workers in a specific region. For example, in Canada each province has a different set of labour standards that are established by provincial laws. This means that the labour standards in each province are different, and thus, worker’s rights and obligations vary from province to province, with the exception of Federally employed individuals.  

In Quebec, the Act Respecting Labour Standards is the piece of legislation that deals with labour standards and is upheld by the Commission des Normes du Travail (CNT). The CNT is a governmental agency that provides information on Quebec’s labour standards, and monitors the application of the labour laws. This includes recording complaints and claims brought to the CNT by employees and employers regarding a violation of the labour standards.

If you believe that your employer has not been following the labour standards, you may file a complaint with the CNT, which is free of charge. The CNT will review your complaint and then contact you. PINAY is able to help you with the complaints process which may be done online, over the phone or in-person with the CNT.

Before you file a complaint with the CNT, it is a good idea to check the rights you are entitled to as a worker in Quebec and to inform your employer of the respective labour standard. If you are not able to settle the disagreement or change the working conditions to respect the labour standards, you should file a complaint with the CNT as soon as possible. You may not be fired or discriminated against for filing a complaint against your employer!

Here are some helpful tips:

1- Ask your employer for a written contract and/or keep a copy of your contract

2- Keep a diary of your daily working hours

3- Keep your payslips, pay stubs, or paysheets.

4- Be aware of the labour standards in Quebec that protect domestic workers and do not be afraid to seek information regarding your rights!

The information provided on this page is current as of November 6, 2015.