Ask the ExpertCategory: QuestionsPersonal/Sick Days
hri_Admin Staff asked 3 years ago

I am looking for information regarding personal time for employees hired on availability in Quebec.
I can see that Part-time employees must be granted the same vacation and vacation pay if they perform the same duties as the other employees of the organisation  https://www.educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/employment-rules-annual-vacation     I haven’t found anything regarding sick days.
Could you let me know what vacation and sick-days are allotted to availability workers in Québec? 
We’re having a difficult time understanding how we could be expected to pay someone who works only very rarely if they are sick the day that they are called into work.

1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 3 years ago

Ran your Q by our payroll guru, Alan McEwen. Hope his response answers your Q. Feel free to loop back with me directly. Glenn Demby glennd@bongarde.com
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I’m not sure what is meant by the phrase “hired on availability”. Sometimes there isn’t a direct translation of works between English or French, or a different phrase is used in French than English.
I suspect this person means hired on a casual basis, i.e. no fixed schedule and only works when an assignment has been offered and accepted.
Generally, employment standards provide that employees must be given 2 or 3 weeks vacation each year. This means 2 or 3 weeks away from work. It doesn’t mean 10 or 15 days of days off work, if the employee does not work each and every regular week day. For example, an employee normally works Monday and Tuesday of each week. This person takes 2 weeks vacation from Sunday, March 10, 2019 to Saturday, March 23, 2019. This is 2 weeks of vacation, even if the person has only taken 4 days off work.
However, sick days are days off work. If a part time employee only works 2 or 3 days a week, and on one of those is sick, he or she is entitled to be paid for that day, the same as for any other employee.
Please note the version of the QC employment standards, in English on the web site is not current. You have to look at the text of Bill 176 itself.
Alan

Jennifer Donaldson replied 3 years ago

The definition given below for availability applies to our organization, I’m referring to employees who only come in when we ask them to, as opposed to “on-call” employees, who are always at the ready for an emergency.
My question relates more to sick days for those employees hired on availability. Our part-time employees are entitled to two sick days yearly (we call them excused absences; one does not necessarily need to actually be sick).
According to Bill 176, it appears that this 2-day paid time off applies to all employees.
However, we are having a hard time wrapping our heads around the idea of our calling a casual employee because we have need of them, only to have them tell us they’re sick that day, and find ourselves having to pay them for that day anyway (plus call in a different on-call employee and pay them), in accordance with the 2-paid-days-off policy of the Law.