Éducaloi is a charitable organization that uses everyday language to educate and inform Quebecers about their:

  • rights,
  • responsibilities and
  • aspects of the law affecting their daily lives. 

Sun Life is proud to partner with Éducaloi because, in law as in personal finance, knowledge is power.

In spite of the pandemic and with the gradual opening of the economy, your teen might still find a summer job. Grocery store clerk, farm worker, delivery driver, day camp counsellor – whatever the job, there are minimum working conditions specified by law. Here are some things to keep in mind about minimum working conditions.

1. What is the minimum wage in Quebec?

Minimum wage in Quebec is $13.10 per hour. For employees earning tips, it’s $10.45 per hour. But what happens now with the closure of eat-in dining at restaurants? Teenagers can still find a job that pays tips, like working at a restaurant or making deliveries.

The minimum wage is different if your teen finds a job picking strawberries, raspberries or similar fruit. What’s the pay for these jobs? It’s based on production. As of May 1, 2020, berry-picking jobs pay $3.89/kg for raspberries and $1.04/kg for strawberries.

What if your teen is doing an internship within a training program recognized by an educational institution? Then the employer doesn’t have to pay minimum wage.

Your teen must get paid for training.

You know all that time your teen spends training for a job? That’s considered time spent working. So your teen should be paid as if working regular hours. This is true whether the training or trial period takes place at work or at an off-site location.

2. What kind of COVID-19 income benefits can your teen get?

The government has put certain programs in place in response to the health crisis, especially to boost the salaries of essential workers.

For example, does your teen work in a grocery store or pharmacy? They could apply for the weekly $100 premium if their weekly salary is $550 or less. Revenu Québec will pay for this benefit for a maximum of 16 weeks. Plus, it applies to both full-time and part-time jobs.

Assistance of $100 per week is also available for farm workers who work 25 hours or more per week. Your teen can apply for this benefit by contacting your local agriculture employment centre (centre d’emploi agricole).

3. Who pays for an employee’s uniform?

An employer can require its employees to wear a specific outfit. For example, an employer can decide all employees should wear black pants and shoes. If your teen is making minimum wage, the employer must supply the specific outfit for free.

What if your teen is making more than minimum wage? Then their employer may deduct from their salary to pay for the uniform. But the deduction can’t drop the salary below minimum wage. For employees who earn tips, the general minimum wage of $13.10 per hour is used for this calculation.

Some employers require a uniform displaying the company name or logo. If that’s the case, the employer must provide the outfit for free. 

4. Who pays when an employee makes a mistake?

Mistakes on the job can happen to anyone. Broken dishes or cash that doesn’t balance are just two examples. Mistakes are a normal part of doing business, and employers should expect things like this to happen. That’s why an employer can’t deduct the cost of these mistakes from employees’ pay.

But it’s worth noting: if your teen makes mistakes too often, or is too careless at work, they might have to pay back their employer.

5. What if your teen can’t find a job or loses their job?

The closure of many businesses across Quebec could cause an extreme shortage of summer jobs. So your teen might not be able to find work. In response, the federal government has set up the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website to find out if your teen qualifies.

Your teen might also qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if they lost their part-time job due to COVID-19. This benefit pays $2,000 per month.

Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website to apply for either of these benefits.