Personnel d'entretien

Who is concerned with this section?

The Parity Committee for the Building Services, Montreal Region, has been responsible for enforcing the Decree respecting building service employees for more than 30 years.

The Decree defines minimum working conditions for employees in this industry, including wages, vacations, holidays, sick leaves, and the Group Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

The Decree also requires building service employers to produce a monthly report stating the names and earnings of the building service employees in their employ. This report must be accompanied by employer’s levy (0.5% of total payroll) as well as the employee’s levy (0.5% of salary) and the employer’s contribution to the employee’s RRSP.

Ever since the enactment of the Decree by the Quebec government in 1976, the Parity Committee has continually endeavored to maintain healthy competition in the industry. By imposing minimum standards for all employees, the Decree aims to protect employers from unfair competition. This is why the Parity Committee continually fights against black market labor and illegal subcontracting.

Hourly wage rates

Hourly wage rates until September 3rd, 2022

Classe A

Heavy Maintenance Work

19,47

/hour

Classe B

Light Maintenance Work

19,18

/hour

Classe C

High Rise Window Washing

20,05

/hour

Hourly wage rates after September 3rd 2022: click here to consult article 6 of the Decree

Please note: The Montreal Region also includes the regions of Outaouais, Laurentides/Lanaudière, Montérégie, Laval, Mauricie, and part of the Eastern Townships and the Centre du Québec region.

Find all the information
about the monthly reports

The Employer’s Guide

Updated as of Spetember 4th, 2021

This guide is addressed to all building service employers. It is a simple and useful tool that answers your principal questions, simplifies your task and helps you understand the Law.

You will be regularly referred to sections of the Decree by means of parentheses in the text. You may refer to the Decree by clicking on it in the home page. You can also call us at (514) 384-6640 or 1 800 461-6640, or send us an e-mail by clicking on contact-us.

Warning: the following text is not the official text of the Decree to which one must refer for any legal interpretation.

Pay slip

Attention: the interactive version form does not work properly on all web browsers. It is preferable to download directly the PDF file before filling it. Once the file is downloaded, you can retrieve it from your “Downloads” folder and complete it with Acrobat Reader or any other program supporting PDF files.

In this form, the gross salary, the net wage and the Parity Committee’s levy will calculate according to the amounts you will have entered in the current salary and deduction sections.

Please note that you can change the description of the type of hours according to your needs.

For example, “Reg. hours” and “Holiday hours” could be changed for “Reg hours Class A” and “Reg hours Class B”, if you needed to.

Spreading out of working hours

Download the agreement for the spreading out of working hours (employee agreement is required)

Download contact and proxy form

 

In order to identify the persons in your company authorized to transmit information to the Parity Committee

Personnel d'entretien

The Employer’s Guide

Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

(Section 6.100 of the Decree)

The Parity Committee is in charge of managing a Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for building service employees. The contribution towards the group RRSP is paid by the employer.

As of October 30th, 2017, the employer’s contribution to the Plan is set at $0.45 per paid hour. There is no rate increase provided by the Decree up to its termination on November 1st, 2024.

As of March 31st, 2021, it is mandatory for the employer, upon hiring employees, to have them complete the registration form for the retirement plan. See article 6.105 of the Decree.

As for the monthly report and levy, the employer’s contribution to the RRSP has to be sent to the Parity Committee every month and is added to the monthly levy.

Paid hours include regular worked hours, overtime hours, holidays (worked or not), sick leave hours (including the yearly excess sick leave hours, if applicable), mobile holidays (for unionized employees), as well as all paid hours, in result of adjustment or a special holiday. A vacation pay is the only payment on which contributions may not be applicable.

Attention! Since November 9th, 2011, the employee may add a volunteer contribution toward the RRSP plan directly on the pay. To make all the necessary arrangements, the employee must give a written authorization to his employer stating the amount he wants to be deducted from the pay.

The employer will send to the Parity Committee this volunteer contribution with the other compulsory contributions for all employees, but he will have to distinguish it separately. Please contact the Parity Committee before sending any volunteer contribution in order to know how to proceed.

The employer is required to list both the current and yearly cumulative for RRSP contributions on the employee’s pay slip as well as in the payroll register. As the case may be, the same apply to the volunteer contribution.

The RRSP contributions received by the Parity Committee are transferred to IA Financial Group, who manages the funds in the RRSP. Prior to that, the employee must complete a registration form.

If the form was already completed previously, no further action is required. Otherwise, you have the obligation to have the form completed by your employee and to send it to the Parity Committee. The registration form is available, upon request, at the Parity Committee or on our website.

IMPORTANT: The RRSP contribution is considered an earning for the employee. It must be included in the levy’s calculation as well as in the employee’s vacation pay calculation. Contact the Parity Committee to know more about it or consult section RRSP in the Employer’s menu of the website.

Salary

A) Hourly rate – (Division 6.00 of the Decree)

The hourly rate of an employee depends on the type of maintenance work that is done. There are three types of maintenance work: heavy maintenance, light maintenance and high rise cleaning.

Heavy maintenance work of class A includes among other duties, work such as washing walls, windows and ceilings, treating floors and removing waste. (Article 1.01d)

Heavy maintenance work is paid $19.47 per hour as of September 4th, 2021
(The previous hourly rate of class A was $18.97 until September 3rd, 2021)

Light maintenance work of class B includes among other duties, work such as dusting, removing of marks, sweeping, vacuuming and the light maintenance of washrooms. (Article 1.01 e)

Light maintenance work is paid $19.18 per hour as of September 4th, 2021
(The previous hourly rate of Class B was $18.62 until September 3rd, 2021)

Maintenance work of class C includes among other duties, work such as the cleaning of windows and surfaces on a scaffold. (Article 1.01f)

High rise window washing is paid $20.05 per hour as of September 4th, 2021
(The previous hourly rate of Class C was $19.55 until September 3rd, 2021)

The crew leader receives a minimum premium of 2% of the hourly salary corresponding to his class of work. (Article 6.02)

Consult article 6.01 of the Decree to know the salary rates until November 1st, 2024.

Contrary to certain preconceived ideas, a man’s work is not necessarily heavy maintenance, and more important a woman’s work is not necessarily light maintenance. One must consider the work that is performed.

It is possible that, on the same shift, an employee performs heavy maintenance and light maintenance work. It is then an obligation for the employer to specify the number of hours done in each class of work. You will then be able to pay the employee in accordance with the Decree.

B) Overtime Hours – (Articles 3.01 and 3.02)

After 40 hours of work in a week, the employee is paid at time and a half.

Attention! The hours of a paid holiday are considered worked hours. Do not forget to include them in the workweek to see if the employee works more than the normal week.

It is possible, under certain conditions, to spread out the hours worked by the employee on a basis other than a weekly basis.
Among these conditions:

1. the spreading out of the hours is not to avoid the payment of overtime hours;
2. you must obtain the employee’s agreement;
3. the spreading out of the hours worked must be based on a maximum of 4 weeks.
4. you must send a notice to the Parity Committee at least 15 days in advance. (Complete list of conditions at Section 3.01)

C) Paid hours – (Articles 3.04, 3.05 and 3.06)

The following hours must be paid at Decree rate when the employee:

1. must stay within the work place until it is unlocked.
2. must travel to perform consecutive maintenance work at the request of the employer (Article 3.05)
3. is at the workplace waiting for work to be assigned to him or her (Article 3.06)
4. is working during any trial or training period (Article 3.06)
5. prepares the material required for the work (Article 3.06)

D) Breaks – (Article 4.03)

All employees have the right to paid breaks upon certain conditions.

1. a work period of 7 hours must include two paid 15-minute rests
2. a work period of 3 hours to less than 7 hours must include one paid 15-minute rest
3. for a work period of more than 7 hours, the employee is entitled to one paid 15-minute rest for every 3 hours period exceeding 7 hours.

As the employer, you can determine break periods.

E) Pay – (Division 10.00)

The salary is paid at the most every two weeks. The employee may be paid by cheque or by direct payment.

Do not forget, you must remit a pay slip to each employee. The pay slip must include the following items: (Article 10.02)

1. The employer’s name
2. The employee’s name
3. The employee’s hiring date
4. The employee’s type of work
5. The date of payment
6. The work period corresponding to the payment
7. The normal hours of work
8. The overtime hours
9. The paid holidays and vacations
10. The paid sick leaves
11. The total number of sick leave hours credits
12. The hourly rate
13. The gross wage
14. The deductions
15. The net wage
16. The employer’s contribution to the retirement savings plan during the period and the total contribution of the year. (Section 10.02)
17. As the case may be, the employee’s volunteer contribution to the group retirement plan that was deducted by the employer during the period and the total contribution during the calendar year.

Frequently asked questions

What are the current rates of wages for the building cleaning employees, how are these rates determined, and at which time will they change?

The hourly rates for the employees subject to the Decree respecting building service employees in the Montreal region, are defined at articl 6 of the Decree. Click here to see the rates until November 1st, 2024.

These rates of wages are set by the government following a request for renewal of the Decree on behalf of the representatives of Quebec Building Service Contractors Association and the Service Employees’ Union Local 800. When the request is accepted, the government imposes certain clauses of their collective agreement on all the subject companies, whether they are union organised or not.

The last renewal of the decree was on September 4th, 2019 and will remain in force until November 1st, 2024. After this date, the decree will be renewed under the same conditions until the two parties (the Contractors Association and Local 800) come to a new collective agreement. At this time, they will make a request to the government so that a new decree is instituted with the new negotiated rates of wages.

The Parity Committee does not take part in the negotiation of the rates of wages. It must follow the decree promulgated by the government.

Can the employer and the employee agree on wages different from that of the decree?

The decree is a law of public order, which means to say that no one can be withdrawn from it, even after mutual agreement. The Parity Committee has as an obligation to ensure that all comply with the rules imposed on the industry. The employer and the employee can always agree to wages higher than that of the decree, but surely not at a lower rate.

Which paid and unpaid breaks does the employer have to grant to the employees?

The employer has the obligation to grant certain breaks, and article 4 of the decree lays down these breaks as well as the conditions which are attached to them.

One paid rest period of 15 minutes must be granted to the employee who works less than 7 hours, but 3 hours or more.

Two paid 15-minute periods are provided for the employee who works 7 hours or more.
The employee is also entitled to one paid 15-minute rest period per 3-hour work period beyond 7 hours.

Moreover, a meal break, not exceeding one hour, may be required by the employee after 5 consecutive hours of work. The latter is thus not obligatory if the employee does not request it. Thus, during night-work, many employees prefer not to have a meal break in order to finish earlier. Nevertheless, the employer has the right to establish the schedule of work, as well as the schedule of breaks and to include or not a non paid meal break, even if the employee does not request it. The duration of this break must however be reasonable: it should not exceed an hour, otherwise it could be a question of a disguised way to oblige the employee to ensure a presence in the workplace, without paying for it.

Attention! The meal period needs to be paid when the employee is not authorized to leave his work position or when the employer assigns the employee to work for a period of 12 hours or more (Article 4.01).

Also note that an employee who works 12 hours or more in a single day is entitled to a second meal period without pay not exceeding one hour.

For any problem regarding breaks, we invite you to contact an inspector in order to clarify the rights and responsibilities of each of the parties.

After how many working hours must the employer pay overtime and how much must be paid?

Overtime is calculated after 40 working hours in the same week. It is important to remember that statutory holidays hours are regarded as working hours.

The hours which exceed 40 hours must be paid at time and a half. To know how to calculate overtime when there are various rates of wages, or at the time of worked statutory holidays, see section “the decree”, with article 3.02, interpretation.

May the employer spread out the hours so as not to pay overtime?

Under certain conditions, enumerated in article 3.01, the employer may schedule the working hours on a basis other than weekly. On this subject, see section 3.1 b) (overtime hours) of the Employer’s Guide or the Employee’s Guide.

(Division 7.00 of the Decree)

A) To manage paid holidays, you must remember the following two important elements:

The regular (permanent) employee:

An employee is considered regular when he or she has worked 280 hours.
The regular employee (often called permanent) is entitled the 10 or 12 holidays of article 7.01, according to his uninterrupted service.
The non regular employee is entitled to the 8 holidays stated in article 7.07.1.

The working day:

A working day is a day when the employee is normally scheduled to work. The working day is determined individually and may be different from one employee to the other in a company. (Article 1.01 g) See FAQ below for more examples.

B) List of paid holidays

1. For regular employees (280 hours fo work)

All the regular employees on your payroll, whether they are full time, part time or on call, are entitled to the following paid holidays:
(Article 7.01)

1. December 31st OR January 2nd, at the employer’s choice, for the permanent employee having less than one year of service. December 31st AND January 2nd for the permanent employee having one year of service or more
2. January 1st
3. Good Friday OR Easter Monday, at the employer’s choice
4. the Monday preceding 25 May
5. June 24th
6. July 1st
7. Labour Day
8. Thanksgiving
9. December 25th
10. December 24th OR December 26th at the employer’s choice, for the permanent employees having less than one year of service. December 24th AND December 26th, for the permanent employees having one year of service or more

2. For non regular employees

Non regular employees are entitled to the 8 following holidays according to article 7.07.1 of the Decree:

1. January 1st
2. Good Friday OR Easter Monday, at the employer’s choice
3. the Monday preceding 25 May.
4. June 24th
5. July 1st
6. Labour Day
7. Thanksgiving
8. December 25th

C) Two situations to consider for the paid holidays

First situation: The employee is a regular employee (280 hours of work)

To know how much it should be paid, you must first consider for every regular employee whether the holiday coincides with a working day or not. See FAQ below for more examples.

1. The holiday coincides with a working day – (Sections 7.02, 7.05)

You may:

a) give the holiday to your employee and pay the indemnity as provided by article 7.02 of the Decree.

OR

b) have your employee work and postpone the paid holiday within 8 weeks, before or after. In order to do this, you must reach an agreement with your employee and put this agreement in writing (see example of a letter of agreement).

OR

c) have your employee work and not postpone the paid holiday. In such a case, you must pay your employee the indemnity provided by article 7.02 of the Decree AND pay at time and a half for the hours worked on the holiday with a minimum pay of two hours at time and a half.

2. The holiday does not coincide with a working day – (Sections 7.04, 7.05)

You may:

a) give your employee an amount equal to 20% of the salary earned during the pay period preceding the holiday (10%, if it is a two week pay period). Note that the amount payable may be zero if the employee has not worked during the pay period preceding the holiday.

OR

b) postpone the holiday, at your choice, to the working day preceding or following the holiday. Be careful; the holiday may be postponed to the “working day” preceding or following the holiday and not to any workday.
See the following question in the FAQ below: Which paid and unpaid breaks does the employer have to grant to the employees?

OR

c) have your employee work and postpone the paid holiday within 3 weeks, before or after. In order to do this, you must reach an agreement with your employee and put this agreement in writing (see example of agreement).

OR

d) have your employee work and not postpone the paid holiday. In such a case, you must pay an amount equal to 20% of the salary earned during the pay period preceding the holiday, (10% if it is a two week pay period) AND pay at time and a half the hours worked on the holiday with a minimum pay of two hours at time and a half.

See FAQ below for examples of calculation for holidays and example of worked holiday.

Second situation: The employee is not a regular employee (less than 280 hours of work)

In the case of the 8 holidays provided by article 7.07.1 the indemnity is explained at article 7.07.2:

The indemnity is equal to 1/20th of the wages earned during the four complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday, excluding overtime hours.

If a non regular employee must work on one of those 8 holidays, the employer may:

a) pay the hours worked at regular rate and pay the indemnity as explained above

OR

b) pay the hours worked at regular rate and allow a compensatory holiday within the three weeks period before or after that day.

D- Criteria to be eligible for the holidays

To be eligible for paid holidays, the employee must work on the working day preceding and following the holiday. (Article 7.06) (Exception: June 24th, governed by the National Holiday Act)

Nevertheless, if the employee does not work on the preceding and the following working day, you must still pay the holiday if it occurs:

– during an authorized absence, of less than 15 days.
– during a sick leave of less than 14 days for any reason set out in Division 9.00 of the Decree or in Division V.1 of Chapter IV of the Act respecting labour standards (chapter N-1.1).
– during a temporary lay off of less than 22 days.
– on the working day preceding or following a lay off for lack of work.
– during his vacation period

Frequently asked questions

How to know if an employee is entitled to the statutory holiday and how much must the payment be?

According to the decree, every employee, regular or not, has a right to some statutory holidays, regardless of his status of temporary, occasional, part-time or full-time employee.

    • The regular employee (one who has accumulated 280 working hours) is entitled to 10 or 12 statutory holidays, according to his seniority;
    • The non regular employee (one who has not yet accumulated 280 working hours) is entitled to 8 statutory holidays.

To know which holidays an employee is entitled to, consult article 7.01, for the regular employee and article 7.07.1 for the non regular employee. You may also consult section 3.2 of the Employer’s Guide or the Employee’s Guide for more information about holidays.

The calculation of the holiday indemnity differs whether the employee is regular or not. Consult section 7 of the Decree or of the Employer’s Guide or the Employee’s Guide for more information.

Is the employee entitled to the payment of the statutory holiday when this holiday coincides with his or her vacation?

Yes. In such case, article 8.06 provides that the employee must receive a paid holiday in addition to his vacation pay.

What are the rules applying when an employe needs to work on a statutory holiday?

The rules regarding the worked holiday are not the same for the regular employee (often called permanent) and the non regular employee. A regular employee is one that has accumulated at least 280 hours of work for the same employer.

The employee who is not a regular employee

If a non regular employee must work on the day of the holiday, the employer may:

  • Pay the hours worked at regular rate and pay the indemnity as explained above;
    OR
  • Pay the hours worked at regular rate and allow a compensatory holiday within the eight weeks period before or after that day

Exception, June 24 (National Holiday): when the employee must work on June 24th due to the nature of the activities of the business that employs him, he is entitled to the wages for the day and the indemnity. The employer may also choose to grant him, instead of the indemnity, a compensatory leave on the working day before or after June 24th.

The regular employee

If the employer needs the regular employee to work on a holiday, he may:

  • Pay the holiday as provided by article 7.02 of the Decree above and pay the hours worked at time and a half (minimum 3 hours – article 5.02 of the Decree)
    OR
  • Pay the hours worked on the holiday and carry over the holiday within the eight weeks preceding or following the holiday (upon the condition of a written agreement between the employer and the employee).

For an example of a letter of agreement, consult section Practical tools.

Exception, June 24 (National Holiday): when the employee must work on June 24th due to the nature of the activities of the business that employs him, he is entitled to be paid at time and a half for the hours worked and to the indemnity. However, the employer may also choose to grant him a compensatory leave on the working day before or after June 24th, in which case, the hours worked on June 24th may be paid at regular rate.

How to determine if the statutory holiday is on a working day or not?

An employee normally works Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For this employee, Monday is regarded as a working day because the employee normally works on Mondays. Tuesday is not a working day for this employee because normally, he does not work on Tuesdays.

For another employee who always works from Monday to Friday, Tuesday is a working day.

How to proceed if the employee works irregularly? (replacement, on call, etc.)

Let us proceed with the following example:
Le congé tombe un mercredi.
The holiday falls on a Wednesday.
The employee does not necessarily work every Wednesday.
In this case, the employer must check the 8 weeks preceding the holiday. If the employee worked 5 Wednesdays or more in the 8 last weeks, the holiday will be said to coincide with a working day.
If the employee did not work 5 Wednesdays in the 8 last weeks, the holiday will be said not to coincide with a working day.
This administrative method, confirmed by the courts, is the one applied by the inspectors.

Examples of holidays that do not coincide with a working day:
– The holiday falls on a Sunday and the employee works from Monday to Friday.
– The holiday falls on a Tuesday and the employee works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

How to pay a statutory holiday worked?

Example of worked holiday:
How to pay the statutory holiday worked in the following situation?

S M T W T F S

Week 4/08

5h

5h

5h

5h

 5h

Week 11/08

5h

 

6h 6h 7h

4h

Week 18/08

5h 5.5h 5.5h 6.5h 5h

Week 25/08

 6h  6.5h

6h

 6.5h

7h

Week 1/09

8h

 5h  7h

4h

6h

Week 8/09

 Holiday worked

6h

5.5h

5h

6h

5.5h

Monday is a working day, but the hours are irregular.
The holiday pay corresponds to the average of the last 5 Mondays worked, i.e.:
5 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 8 = 29
29 ÷ 5= 5.8 h
One must thus pay 5.8h for the holiday pay.
Moreover, as the holiday is not deferred, the employer must pay the 6 hours worked at time and a half.

Sick leaves and special leave of absence

A) Sick leave

(Division 12.00 of the Decree)

All regular (permanent) employees have a sick leave accumulation.

When they are sick, the employer draws from this accumulation to pay them.

To comply with articles 9.06 and 9.09, the first 2 days of absence, within the same calendar year, for family obligations, must be paid by the employer within the accumulated sick leave hours, even when taken in advance.

Accumulation of sick leave

(Article 12.01)

At each pay period, the regular (permanent) employee accumulates sick leave hours equal to 2.44% of their paid hours. The accumulation is in hours.

You must keep a register of this accumulation and indicate the cumulative on the pay stub of the employee.

Deduction from the accumulation when the employee is sick

(Articles 12.03, 12.04)

When the employee is sick, he must:

– inform the employer on the first day of the sick leave.
– bring a medical certificate if the employer asks for one when the employee calls or during the sick leave.

If the employee fulfils these two requirements, the employer pays the sick leave hours and deducts these hours from the employee’s sick leave accumulation.

Payable sick leave hours accumulation

(Article 12.02)

Once a year, between November 1st and December 10th, part of the sick leave accumulation must be paid out, if applicable. To know if you must pay part of the sick leave accumulation, you must calculate the amount payable for excess hours.

Before November 30th, you must give a copy of your calculation to the employee and send one to the Parity Committee.

Before December 10th, you must pay the payable hours when it is the case.

B) B) Special leaves for family events

(Chapitre 9.00 du décret)

(Division 9.00 of the Decree)

For certain events such as wedding, death, birth etc., the employee may obtain a paid leave following certain conditions. (To know all the conditions, consult Division 9.00 of the Decree)

An employee may also obtain a maternity leave. (Article 9.08 of the Decree)

Frequently asked questions

How to calculate the sick leave hours for a new employee?

The employee who becomes permanent starts to accumulate sick leave hours after having worked 280 hours. Every employee who has accumulated 280 hours, whether she or he is full-time, part-time or occasional has a right to the sick leave hours.

How to calculate the sick leave hours for a new employee? (example)

An employee starts working on October 15 at a rate of 30 hours per week. December 22, after 10 working weeks, she has accumulated 300 hours. To calculate her sick leave hours, one deducts from the total, the 280 hours when the employee is not permanent. One then must multiply the remaining hours by 2.44%.

Thus, the employee is entitled to sick leave hours calculated over 20 hours (300-280 = 20).
20 X 2.44% = 0.49 h.

At the time of the following pay, one will calculate 2.44% on the total of the paid hours (including the statutory holiday, or sick leave pay) and one will add it to the 0.49 h. accumulated.

In our example, the employee is paid for the week from December 23 to 29, a total of 30 hours, including the statutory holidays of Christmas. One thus calculates 30 X 2.44% = 0.73h. This amount is added to 0.49 h. for a cumulative total of 1.22 hours of sick leave.

Caution! The cumulative sick leave hours never fall to zero, except if the employee uses every hour that he or she has in bank. At the end of the civil year, it is necessary to defer the credit of sick leave hours to the following year and to continue calculation.

How to calculate the excess of sick leave hours? (example)

Here is a concrete example to help you carry out the calculation of the excess sick leave hours.
Total of the employee’s sick leave accumulation
on October 31st: 92 hours

Minus
Week ending October 24: 40 hours
Week ending October 17: 20 hours
Week ending October 10: 00 hour
(See note 1 below)
Week ending October 3: 44 hours
Week ending September 26: 36 hours
Total of hours of the last 4 worked weeks: 140 hours x 60% = – 84 hours

Total of payable hours = 8 hours (92 hours – 84 hours)
Note 1 : In this example we use the last five weeks because one week is not worked.
Note 2 : The Thanksgiving holiday is always in one of the four weeks. The hours for this holiday must be included in the total hours of the week.

Vacation

(Chapter 8 of the Decree)

To know the number of vacation weeks for an employee, one must take into account the number of years of service as well as the qualifying period, which is the period going from May 1st of a year to the April 30th of the following year.

At the end of a qualifying period:

– The employee with less than one year of service is entitled to 1 ½ day per month of service
– The employee with less than 10 years of service is entitled to 3 weeks
– The employee with 10 to 23 years of service is entitled to 4 weeks
– The employee with 23 to 33 years of service is entitled to 5 weeks
– The employee with 33 years of service or more is entitled to 6 weeks
– The employee may require that his vacation be granted to him between April 30th and September 1st.

Vacation pay is calculated in the following manner:

– The employee with less than 10 years of service at the end of a qualifying period is entitled to 6% of the total wages earned during this period
– The employee with 10 to 23 years of service is entitled to 8% of the total wages earned during this period
– The employee with 23 to 33 years of service is entitled to 10% of the total wages earned during this period
– The employee with 33 years of service or more is entitled to 12% of the total wages earned during this period

The employee may ask for the payment of the third and fourth week, without taking the vacation. (Article 8.10)

The employee may split his vacation in two. (Article 8.12)

Attention: If an employee is absent owing to sickness, an organ or tissue donation for transplant, an accident, if the employee is the victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or of a criminal act or is on maternity or paternity leave during the reference year, that absence should not result in the reduction of the employee’s vacation pay. Consult article 8.04 of the Decree to learn more.

Frequently asked questions

Do the employees have the right to choose their weeks of vacations?

The employees can require that the vacations be granted between April 30 and the September 1 (article 8.08), but it is left to the employer to determine the exact weeks according to its suitability. Union employees have a priority of seniority in the choice of the vacations. Several non union employers also adopt this principle although they are not held to do so.

How is vacation pay calculated?

Initially, the employer must establish the qualifying period and it must be the same one for all of its employees. It is a question of choosing the pay period closest to May 1 of one year and the period closest to April 30 of the following year. Then, one must take the total of all the earnings of the qualifying period (including vacation pay, bonuses, hours of illness, etc), and this, for each employee. To obtain the vacation pay, one multiplies this total by 6%, 8%, 10% or 12% according to the number of years of service of the employee at the end of this year of reference (see article 8 of the Decree).

At what time is vacation pay due?

Vacation pay is due before the employee leaves on vacation (article 8.05). It should not be paid at the beginning of May, for example, if the employee only leaves on vacation in August.

Can the vacations be split?

The vacations can be split in two periods, at the request of the employee (article 8.12). They can also be split in more than two periods, always at the request of the employee, but only if the employer agrees to it.

In the cases of splitting, the employer can divide the vacation pay according to the split requested.

Can vacations be deferred to the following year when the employee did not take them?

Article 8.11 says that vacations must be taken in the 12 months which follow the end of the reference period. That is to say that vacations cannot be deferred to the following year. When the employer approaches the end of the qualifying period, towards the end April, he should pay or grant any vacation of the preceding qualifying period which has not yet been paid.

Nevertheless, article 8.11 allows two exceptions. Upon the employee’s request, an employer may:

– authorize an anticipated vacation (a vacation taken before the end of the qualifying period);
– defer the annual vacation to the following year when it has not been taken during the 12 months following the end of a qualifying period if the employee is absent owing to sickness, accident, family or parental matters.

Termination pay

(Chapter 8 of the Decree)

Upon termination, the employee with less than 10 years of service receives 6% of the total wages earned during the preceding qualifying period if not already paid and 6% of the total wages earned during the current period.

In the case of the employee having between 10 to 23 years of service, the employee receives 8% of the total wages.

The employee with 23 to 33 years of service receives a 10% termination pay, while the employee having 33 years of service or more is entitled to a 12% termination pay.

Notice of termination

(Chapter 13 of the Decree)

The notice of termination is a letter given to the employee advising him that his services will not be needed starting a certain date.

If your employee has at least 3 months of service, you must give him a notice of termination before:

– A termination of his contract (except in cases of serious fault)
– A lay-off for a period of 6 months or more.

Note: There is no notice of termination in the case of a lay-off for a period of less than 6 months. But be careful! If the lay-off period is prolonged for more than 6 months, you will then have to pay an amount equivalent to the notice of termination.

Here are the different notices of termination, according to the years of service of the employee:

– Less than one year of service: notice of one week
– One to 5 years of service: notice of 2 weeks
– 5 to 10 years of service: notice of 4 weeks
– 10 years of service or more: notice of 8 weeks.

Attention! If you do not give the written notice of termination, you must pay an equal amount as specified above.

Frequently asked questions

In which circumstances does an employer have to give the notice of termination?

The employer who dismisses an employee who has more than three months of service or who lays her or him off for lack of work, either definitively, or for more than 6 months, must give a notice of termination according to the duration and the conditions envisaged in article 13. The employer has the choice between:

– paying the indemnity of notice according to the duration required in article 13.01;
– delivering the written notice within the deadlines.

The employee who is advised in writing of the end of his employment on a determined date, must work for the period which remain. She or he cannot chose to leave and be paid the duration of the notice if the employer refuses.

Does the employer nevertheless have to give the notice when the employee is at fault or that the customer requires his departure?

The employer is exempted of this obligation in the event of serious fault on behalf of the employee or in a situation of fortuitous occurrence. For precise details on these two exceptions, see section “the decree”, article 13.02: interpretation.

The request of the customer to withdraw an employee does not constitute a fortuitous occurrence. The employee who is in this situation is entitled to notice unless one can show a serious fault. If it is not a question of a serious fault, the employer can ask the customer for a delay before withdrawing the employee in order to provide proper notice; he can also transfer the employee to another place of work, or if not, he must pay the corresponding indemnity of notice to this employee.

Can the employer lay off an employee without giving a notice of termination and the final severance pay?

If it is a final layoff (return to work not envisaged), or a layoff of more than 6 months or, if it is a dismissal, the employer must give the notice of termination and pay all the sums due up to the date of departure. If the employer did not give a letter of notice within the required time, he must then pay an amount equivalent to the necessary duration of the notice.

If it is a temporary layoff, with return envisaged within 6 months, the employer is not obliged to give a notice of termination and to pay the 6%, 8%, 10% or 12% (as the case may be). On the other hand, with the expiry of the 6 months period, if the employer did not recall the employee, the latter loses any bond of employment and the notice, as well as the final vacation pay become due. The Parity Committee then has full powers to claim them if the employer refuses to pay.

Caution: for the employees members of the Service Employees’ Union, Local 800, the procedures for layoff and the conservation of seniority are not the same as with the decree. Consult the Union for more information.

What is the difference between a layoff and a dismissal?

The dismissal is a decision of the employer to put an end to a work agreement, and this for disciplinary reasons. It is thus because, wrongly or rightly, the employer is not satisfied with the employee. It can be for reasons of punctuality, quality of work, conflicts with the employer or with the supervisor, etc.

The layoff is a suspension of employment due to lack of work. It can be following the loss of a contract, with the closing of a building, a reorganisation or cuts in the personnel, etc.

The layoff can be temporary or final. If it is temporary, the employer will record code A on the Record of Employment (for “lack of work”) and will indicate a return envisaged, either at a determined date, or at an unspecified date. If the layoff is final, the employer must indicate “return not envisaged” in the suitable box.

What are the rights of the employee who has just been dismissed?

The Parity Committee does not have jurisdiction to contest the reasons of the dismissal. All that the Parity Committee can do in the event of dismissal, is to verify that the employee receives his notice of termination, if entitled, and the final vacation pay (6%, 8%, 10% or 12% as the case may be – see article 8 of the Decree). If it is necessary, the Parity Committee will claim from the employer the sums due to the employee.

However, three situations envisaged in article 30 of An Act Respecting Collective Agreement Decrees can lead to an intervention of the Parity Committee:

1. The employee was dismissed for having provided information to a representative of the Parity Committee ;
2. The employee was dismissed following a complaint to the Parity Committee or following testimony in a lawsuit being referred to it ;
3. The employee was the object of a dismissal with the intention of re-hiring in a lesser position, in order to pay less wages.

In these three cases, the employer is liable to fines. Moreover, the employee can claim three months of wages by way of damages, and file a complaint with the labour commissioner general in the 45 days following the dismissal. This recourse aims at rehabilitation to work and compensation for loss of wages.

Otherwise, if the employee is not a union member, he or she must consult the Commission des normes du travail to find possible means of recourse. For example, if it concerns two years or more of service, a complaint for dismissal without right and proper cause could be filed. If not, if it were an illegal dismissal, as envisaged by An Act Respecting Labour Standards, in certain specific situations, or of a punishment, reprisal, suspension or displacement, the employee can file a complaint against a prohibited practice. These recourses must then also be exercised in the 45 days following the dismissal. The site of the Commission des normes du travail (see “useful links“) contains all the information on this subject.

If the employee is a union member, he or she will have to contact the Union to know the recourses.

Subcontracting

The present trend of subcontracting is important enough to address the issue in this guide.

In past years, the Parity Committee has conducted many investigations in cases of subcontracting and autonomous workers in order to stop the black market and fight this fraudulent non-declared work.

These investigations brought many penal accusations and important salary claims.

As a contractor, you have the right to have subcontractors to execute the work. However, you must be very careful if you do not want the operation to turn into a nightmare.

You can give a subcontract to a firm which is already in business and who has its own employees. However, you must know that if your subcontractor does not respect the Decree and does not pay the employees correctly, the Act respecting Collective Agreement Decrees (Section 14) stipulates that you will be held responsible for the unpaid salaries. The Parity Committee will send you a claim for the differences in salary that you will have to pay.

It is important to know that even if you hire an independent worker according to the taxation authorities, he may still be considered an employee according to the Decree. According to this double status, this person would be entitled to all the benefits provided by the Decree (hourly rate, vacation pay, legal holidays, sick leave, RRSP, etc.). He should also appear on your payroll and monthly reports.

Attention: The fact of being registered, incorporated or having a tax number does not at all guaranty that a subcontractor will be accepted as such. You must know that in order to be accepted by the Parity Committee as an autonomous worker, the worker must already be in business in a significant manner, meaning that, he must not depend on only one important subcontract or he must have his own employees.

Be cautious! Enquire with the Parity Committee before hiring a subcontractor.

More details on the criteria used to determine the status of the worker:

View more details

Frequently asked questions

Can an employer ask a person to register a name or an incorporation so that this person can be invoiced for her or his services?

Subcontracting is widely used in the cleaning of public buildings. It is very often a diverted and illegal way to bypass the law. Moreover, subcontracting often hides situations of moonlighting and tax evasion.

The fact of having a company, whether it is incorporated or not, is not enough for its owner to be considered a subcontractor. The fact of having a G.S.T. and a Q.S.T. number and even of being accepted as an autonomous worker according to tax laws does not guarantee in any way that the status of subcontractor is accepted for as much by the Parity Committee.

It should be known that the definition of an employee according to An Act Respecting Collective Agreement Decrees is much broader than that according to tax laws. The decrees having an objective of social protection, jurisprudence has granted the statute of employee to many subcontractors, and this, in a variety of situations and even where many would have thought that subcontracting was carried out within the rules.

More details on the criteria used to determine the status of the worker:

View more details

It should be known that the principal contractor (that which holds the service contract and which gives it out in subcontracting) remains jointly responsible for the pecuniary obligations set by the law. Many companies were surprised to receive from the Parity Committee, claims for several thousands of dollars of wages which the subcontractor had not paid to its employees. Moreover, they were sued for not having produced exact monthly reports, following the refusal by the Parity Committee to consider their subcontractors as autonomous workers.

Before entrusting a contract in subcontracting or before accepting a subcontract, contact the Parity Committee, even anonymously, to have a better idea of the risks attached to this kind of situation.

The Act respecting Labour Standards and the Act respecting Collective Agreement Decrees

The majority of the minimum labour standards are replaced by sections of the Decree described above. However, some remain when they are not replaced by a similar or a more advantageous section in the Decree.

Here is an incomplete summary of these sections. For more details, we suggest that you get a copy of the Act respecting Labour Standards or contact the Commission des normes du travail. (cnesst.gouv.qc.ca)

Since you must already pay a levy to the Parity Committee, based on the payroll for your building service employee’s, the salary of these employees is not subject to the CONTRIBUTION RELATED TO LABOUR STANDARDS. For all other employees in your company that are not subject to the decree, please note that you must continue to send this contribution to Revenu Québec, every year.

You must also continue to pay the contribution related to health and safety at work, for all your employees, following the statement that is sent yearly by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

5.1 Weekly rest (Section 78, Act respecting Labour Standards)

You must grant your employee a minimum rest period of one day a week.

5.2 Maternity leave (Section 81.4 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

You must grant the pregnant employee who makes the request for maternity leave, not more than 18 consecutive weeks without pay.

5.3 Parental leave (Section 81.10 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

Upon request, you must grant the father and the mother of a new-born child and a person who adopts a child, a parental leave without pay of not more than 52 consecutive weeks.

5.4 Prohibited practices (Sections 122-123, Act respecting Labour Standards and Sections 30, 30.1 and 31, Act respecting Collective Agreement Decrees)

It is prohibited for you to dismiss, suspend or transfer an employee on the grounds that the employee:

– exercised one of his rights under the Act respecting Labour Standards.
– has provided information to the Commission des normes du travail on the application of the labour standards or to the Parity Committee on the Decree.
– has made a complaint to the Commission des normes du travail or to the Parity Committee.
– is the object of a seizure by garnishment.
– is pregnant
– refuses to work beyond his or her regular hours for reasons related to the care, health or education of a minor child.

The employee may submit a complaint directly to the Commission des relations du travail or through the Commission des normes du travail or the Parity Committee, according to the situation. The Commission des relations du travail may order the reinstatement and the payment of the loss salary.

Furthermore, in cases related to the Parity Committee, the employer is liable to a fine of $200 to $3000 and to the payment of exemplary damages of three months’ salary.

5.5 Dismissal without good and sufficient cause (Section 124 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

You cannot dismiss an employee with two years of service without a good and sufficient cause. The dismissed employee may submit a complaint to the Commission des normes du travail who tries to settle the matter. If no settlement is reached, the complaint is submitted to the Commission des relations du travail who may order the reinstatement and/or a salary compensation.

5.6 Psychological harassment at work (Articles 81.18, 81.19 and 123.6 to 123.16, Act respecting Labour Standards)

The Act respecting Labour Standards provides that the employee is entitled to a workplace that is free from psychological harassment. It is the employer’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent psychological harassment and to put a stop to such behaviour when it is brought to his knowledge.

An employee subject to harassment may contact the Commission des normes du travail to file a complaint.

Attention! If, following an employee’s complaint, you have a file with the Commission des normes du travail (CNT) and with the Parity Committee, do not sign an agreement to settle the case with the Commission des normes du travail without consulting the Parity Committee. The Commission des normes du travail does not have the authority to settle a case for the Parity Committee and vice versa. Before you sign an agreement, make sure all the parties concerned accept the settlement.