Quebec – Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards - Retail Council of Canada

Quebec – Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards

On March 20, 2018, Labour Minister Dominique Vien introduced Bill 176: An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance. According to Minister Vien, the financial impacts to Quebec businesses would be between $600M and $700M.

The Bill and speculations on amendments have been making headlines over the past year. RCC, accompanied by a few members, met the Minister on June 2017. The impacts of adding days off and the lack of flexibility in the management of working hours were the main focus of the discussions.

Among the changes proposed by the government, RCC’s request to offer retailers greater flexibility, with the possibility of staggering working hours over a longer period, was accepted.

The main proposed amendments that will have an impact on retailers are:

  • Broader definition of “parent”.
  • Addition of a 3rd week of annual leave after 3 years (currently 5 years).
  • Addition of two paid days for sick leave or family matters.
  • Addition of a paid day for a death or funeral.
  • Obligation for employers to have a policy against sexual harassment.
  • Prohibition to implement new differences in treatment. Those already in place could be maintained.
  • The employer would no longer be required to pay annual leave indemnity in one payment only; terms could now vary.
  • The Bill also requires personnel placement agencies to hold a licence.
  • Agencies could no longer pay wages lower than those paid to company employees.
  • Agencies and client businesses would now be solidarily liable.
  • Other elements involve the refusal to work overtime, recognition of the role of caregiver, the addition of unpaid weeks for sickness, an organ or tissue donation, an accident, domestic violence or a criminal offence.

The Bill might not be put to vote before the end of the session. There are 8 weeks left until National Assembly rises, and elections are to be held on October 1st, 2018.

Next Steps:

RCC will be part of the private consultations for the Bill.

Click here to consult the Bill.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Stéphanie Aubin, Director, Public and Government Relations, at or (514) 316-7659.