Rights and Governments

Francization Rules for Employers  

Bill 96 has changed some of Quebec’s language laws. This article is up to date and reflects the current rules.


In Quebec, many businesses and non-profit organizations have to follow “francization” rules. These are rules that aim to promote and increase the use of French among employees.

Though these rules have existed for many years in Quebec, Bill 96 expands them even further. 

Who has to follow francization rules?  

Currently, enterprises with 50 or more employees must follow francization rules. “Enterprises” includes businesses, non-profits and other organizations that are registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec (Quebec business registry).   

The number of employees may fluctuate. However, if the enterprise had 50+ employees for at least 6 months, then it is subject to francization rules.  

Additionally, employees across all offices must be counted. Part-time, temporary, and occasional workers are included in the employee count, but freelancers and volunteers are not.  

New rules as of June 1, 2025  

Under Bill 96, as of June 1, 2025, these rules will apply to enterprises with 25 or more employees.

Francization rules and procedures 

Step 1: Registering with the OQLF 

If your enterprise has 50 employees or more, you must first register with the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF). The OQLF is the government body which enforces French-language rules.  
The OQLF confirms your registration with them by issuing a “certificate of registration”.  

Step 2: Submitting a form to the OQLF regarding the use of French within the enterprise 

Once your enterprise is registered, you have three months to submit a self-evaluation form regarding the use of French within your enterprise. This form will help the OQLF understand the extent to which French is integrated in your internal and external communications, in your marketing and in your IT systems.  

Here are some examples of questions you will be asked:  

  • Does the enterprise require knowledge of a language other than French for its employees? 
  • Are the enterprise’s safety instructions in French?  
  • Are written and oral communications among staff mostly done in French or in another language? 
  • Are purchase orders written in French? 

You can find the form on the OQLF’s website (French only).  

Step 3: Obtaining a francization certificate  

At this stage, enterprises will have different obligations depending on whether or not the OQLF is satisfied with their self-evaluation form.  

A. The enterprise meets the OQLF’s standard 

If the OQLF deems that French use within your enterprise is sufficient, it will issue a francization certificate. Your enterprise has no other immediate obligations. It only has periodic ones:  

  • French must continue to be used to the extent that it currently is.  
  • Every three years, you must submit a report to the OQLF on the use of French within your enterprise.  

B. The enterprise fails to meet the OQLF’s standard 

If the OQLF deems that the level of French use is not up to their standard, they will not issue a francization certificate. This means that the enterprise will have to:  

  • Create a francization program, the goal of which is to foster French use among staff at all levels and generalize its use in communications with clients, suppliers, etc. 
  • Submit this francization program proposal to the OQLF for approval. You have three months to do so after you receive notice that a francization certificate will not be granted.  
  • Implement this program. 
  • Submit reports to the OQLF every 12 months to update them on the implementation of the francization program. 

When the francization program is complete and the OQLF is satisfied that the use of French is generalized at all levels of your enterprise, the OQLF will issue a francization certificate. Your enterprise will then just need to maintain the level of French use and submit a report to the OQLF every three years.  

Some enterprises may not need to implement a francization program. Namely, head offices and research centres which have special agreements with the OQLF to allow the use of a language other than French as their language of operation.

Some additional obligations  

The OQLF can ask some enterprises to create a “francization committee”. This committee is responsible for the obligations outlined above, namely filling out the self-evaluation form, drafting the francization program, overseeing its implementation and writing the report for the OQLF every three years.  

The francization committee is made up of four or six members. Half of them are members representing the workers. The remaining half is named by management and includes the enterprise’s representative to the OQLF.  

Members representing the workers are named for a term not exceeding two years. However, this term can be renewed.  

Members can also elect another enterprise representative from among the members named by workers. This person will also act as the enterprise’s liaison with the OQLF.  

Members must be paid for attending committee meetings. As an employer, you cannot fire, transfer, or lay them off on the sole basis of their involvement with the committee. You must also provide a list of their names to the OQLF and share it among the rest of the enterprise.  

Did you know? 

Enterprises with 100+ employees must create a francization committee. It has to be composed of six members.

Penalties for non-compliance  

There are consequences if you fail to follow francization rules. Your enterprise may:  

  • no longer be eligible for government subsidies,
  • no longer do business, receive services, or enter into contracts with the Quebec government, its agencies, municipalities or health and social services,
  • have to pay a fine, 
  • appear on a public list of enterprises that failed to meet the OQLF’s standard for French use.