In Montreal, workers are covered by federal and provincial laws that protect their salaries and well-being. (1) These laws are;
- Canada’s labour Code
- Only applies to employees working for the federal government in all Canadian provinces.
- Outlines the rights federal employees are entitled to (i.e minimum wage, benefits, etc.)
*CNESST is Quebec’s body responsible for overseeing the just application of the laws listed below.*
- Quebec’s act respecting labour standards
- Applies to employees working in the public and private sector in Quebec.
- Outlines the rights of employees working in Quebec (i.e minimum wage, benefits, etc.)
- Quebec’s labour code
- Applies to employees working in Quebec
- Dictates laws surrounding employee unionisation in Quebec
- Pay equity act
- Applies to all companies with 10 or more employees
- Ensures that employees, regardless of their gender, are treated and paid the same when completing the same duties.
- Act Respecting occupational health and safety
- Applies to all employees in Quebec
- This act ensures that employees work in safe environments and that proper safety protocols protect their wellbeing
Self Employed and Independent Contractors
While the labour codes outlined above protect employees in Quebec, earning a salary alone does not grant you protection under them. Self-employed people, or individuals earning a salary without being legally binded to an employer, are not covered under any labour codes since they are not considered employees. For example, Uber drivers or entrepreneurs, as independent contractors and self-employed, do not have a right to minimum wage, sick leave, maternity leave or other benefits.
Note: Under certain circumstances, self-employed individuals may choose to opt in CNESST’s program by paying fees granting them protection under Quebec’s labour laws. (2)