Quebec passes new labour standards

Changes cover temp agencies, overtime, pensions, leaves of absence
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/20/2018
Legislation, benefits, payroll
The Quebec legislature has passed new legislation that revamps many of the province’s labour standards. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

The Quebec legislature has passed new legislation that revamps many of the province’s labour standards.

For example, it increases the number of weeks of absence authorized for certain events associated with parental responsibilities, and clarifies and broadens the definition of “relative.”

The new law also provides that certain days of absence may also be taken for the benefit of persons, other than relatives, for whom an employee acts as a caregiver.

Quebec’s “Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance” also specifies that conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature may be a form of psychological harassment.

When it comes to personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for temporary foreign workers, they will now have to hold a licence. Employers that retain the services of any agency that does not hold a licence will be liable to a penal sanction.

In addition, personnel placement agencies and the employers that retain their services will from now on be solidarily liable to an employee for the pecuniary obligations fixed by the new law.

Different wage rates based solely on employees’ employment status, and differential treatment based solely on the employees’ hiring date, are now prohibited in Quebec, which includes pension plans or other employee benefits.

For overtime hours, the number that an employee is required to accept is reduced to two, and an employee may refuse to work if he has not been informed of his work schedule far enough in advance.

Details of the changes can be found here.

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