Federal Labour Standards

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In Quebec, employees of companies covered by federal laws or who work for the federal public service are generally protected by the Canada Labour Code rather than Quebec’s Act respecting labour standards. In some cases, Quebec’s laws will apply.

The Canada Labour Code applies

If you work for a business that is covered by federal laws or for the federal public service, you are covered by the Canada Labour Code. This also applies if you are working remotely.

Here are the sectors covered by federal law:

  • the federal government and Crown corporations (Canada Post, etc.)
  • banks (except for credit unions)
  • radio stations and TV stations
  • air transport companies and airports
  • shipping companies, ferries, tunnels, canals, and bridges or pipelines that cross provincial or international borders
  • road transport companies that make regular international or interprovincial trips
  • ports
  • grain elevators
  • band councils
  • railroads that cross provincial or international borders
  • telecom companies (cellphones, internet, etc.)
  • uranium extraction, refinement, and nuclear energy.

Minimum protections

The Canada Labour Code is similar to Quebec’s Act respecting labour standards, which covers most employees in Quebec. These two laws guarantee employees certain minimum rights. These two laws may offer similar protections but have some differences.

For example, the list of Public Holidays is not the same. In addition, the two laws calculate vacation time differently.

To learn more about the minimum labour standards that apply to you, you can visit the federal government’s website.

Filing a complaint with the Labour Program

Your employer can offer better working conditions than those guaranteed by the Canada Labour Code.

However, your employer can never impose worse conditions than those guaranteed by law.

If your employer does not respect the law, you can file a complaint with the Labour Program which is administered by the Canada Industrial Relations Board. To learn more about the Labour Program you can visit the federal government’s website.

If you are unionized, check with your union.

Workplace accident? Consult with the CNESST

If you have an accident at work or suffer from an occupational injury, you must file a claim with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CNESST or labour standards, pay equity and workplace health and safety board) even if you work in a federally regulated workplace.

To learn more about what to do, you can read our article Workplace Accidents: Step to Take, Remedies and Compensation.

Maternity, paternity, and parental leave: QPIP benefits

To receive benefits during your maternity, paternity, or parental leave, you must apply to the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). This applies even if you work for the federal government or in a federally regulated workplace.

Pay equity

The Pay Equity Act is designed to correct any wage imbalances created by gender-based discrimination

Federally regulated workplaces must respect the Pay Equity Act.