• Your Labour Rights in Montreal

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) 

Working as an International student

In Quebec, if permitted by the government, international students are entitled to work on and off campus. Student may work as many hours as they desire ON-campus (3)  given they meet specific eligibility requirements. They may NOT exceed more than 20 hours of OFF-campus work. Working more than 20 hours per week off-campus may threaten your student status(4)  Independent contracted work is INCLUDED in those 20 hours. It is YOUR responsibility as a student to track those hours and not exceed this limit.

NOTE: To address the labour shortage, from November 15th, 2022 to December 31st, 2023, there will no longer be a limit on the number of hours international students may work! (5)

What’s a SIN (Social Insurance Number)

Your social insurance number enables Canada’s government to track the work you are doing and how much you are being paid. A valid SIN is required to receive government programs and benefits like Canada’s Pension Plan(CPP) or Employment Insurance(EI). A SIN is mandatory for all remunerated work done in Canada, including independent contracted work like uber eats. Any employer may not legally pay an employee who does not provide them with a valid SIN number.

  • You can apply for your SIN here
    • If your SIN starts with the number 9 that means it has an expiry date. International students and permanent residents must ensure they keep theirs up to date!