LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bill 176 Labour Standards Code Changes Taking Effect Jan. 1, 2019
|Vacation eligibility||Employees get 3 weeks per year after 3 years of service (as opposed to 5 years of service under current rules)|
|Work hours—employee refusal and staggering||*Employees can refuse to work more than 2 hours after regular daily working hours (as opposed to 4 hours under current rules)
* Employer and employee may agree in writing to stagger work hours on other than weekly basis without CNESST authorization (CNESST OK required under current rules)
*New employee right to refuse work outside normal schedule if not advised at least 5 days in advance
|Statutory holiday pay for non-work day holidays||Employees get pay for stat holidays falling on non-work days of 1/20 of the wages earned during the 4 complete weeks of pay before the week of the holiday, excluding overtime (or 1/60 of wages in 12 weeks for employees paid by commission)|
|Sick leave eligibility||Elimination of requirement that employees have 3 months’ continuous service to take sick leave|
|New domestic violence leave||Up to 26 weeks over a 12-month period for employees victimized by domestic or sexual violence|
|New paid leave||Up to 2 days paid leave per year for employees with 3 months’ continuous service for sickness, organ donation, accident, domestic or sexual violence or reasons related to care, health or education of family members|
|Expanded family and parental leaves||*New employer right to ask employee absent for care, health or education of family members to provide a document attesting to reasons for absence
*Leave to stay with a relative due to serious illness or accident: i. broadened to include not only a relative but also a person for whom employee acts as caregiver; and ii. increased from 12 to 16 weeks over a 12-month period (36 weeks if the relative or person is a minor child)
*New leave of up to 27 weeks to stay with a relative or person for whom employee acts as caregiver due to serious and potentially deadly illness if employee provides a medical certificate
|Expansion of child disappearance leave||Leave for disappearance of minor child increased from 52 to 104 weeks|
|New child death leave||Up to 104 weeks for death of minor child|
|Expansion of suicide death leave||Leave for suicide death of parent, spouse or major child increased from 52 to 104 weeks|
|Extra day of paid bereavement leave||First 2 days of 5 days of bereavement leave paid, as opposed to first one under current rules|
|Paid birth, adoption, miscarriage leave||First 2 days of absence for birth, adoption of a child or termination of pregnancy in or after 20th week of pregnancy are paid regardless of employee’s length of service|
|Expansion of pay equity||Rule requiring equal pay for doing same work at same establishment even when employees work fewer hours per week extended to ban paying less on basis of “employment status,” e.g., part-time, temp, etc.
|New ban on differential benefits||Ban on providing differential benefits on basis of employee’s date of hire, which would apply retroactively and not to benefits arrangements already in place|
|Expansion of psychological harassment protections and employer duties||*Definition of “psychological harassment” broadened to include sexual harassment
*New employer duty to adopt psychological harassment prevention policies and investigate complaints
*New employer duty to report psychological harassment complaints to CNESST
*New CNESST duty to refer complaints to CDPDJ (human rights commission) for discrimination inquiry
*Time limit for employees to file complaint increased from 90 days to 2 years from last incident of alleged offending behaviour
In addition to the above provisions slated for Jan. 1, 2019, other parts of Bill 176 will take effect when they’re officially proclaimed:
- Pay equity protections for workers placed by employee leasing agencies
- CNESST licensing required for placement of temporary foreign workers by personnel placement and recruitment agencies
- New employer duty to notify CNESST when hiring temporary foreign workers
- Ban on employers charging temporary foreign workers recruitment fees or requiring them to entrust the employer with their passport, permit or other personal documents or property.
Oct. 5: That’s the deadline for employer and worker associations to apply for up to $90,000 in CNESST funding for projects designed to prevent workplace psychological and sexual harassment. There are 2 funding streams:
- Stream 1: Workplace Harassment Standards Assistance Program for sectoral employer associations
- Stream 2: Program for workers’ sensitization at sectoral associations of employees and self-employed persons.
Aug. 21: The Qualification Montréal program which provides support to help skilled immigrants gain local recognition for their credentials has been expanded to include the entire province and, accordingly, renamed Qualification Québec.
Jan. 1: That’s the date the QPP splits into 2 plans: the base plan, which is a continuation of the current plan and the new additional plan offering a higher income replacement rate of 33.3%, paving the way for gradual increases in QPP contribution rates from 2019 to 2023. Maximum pensionable earnings will also increase over 2 years until reaching 114% of the current MPE, which for 2018 is $63,700.
Aug. 27: Rétraite Québec issued new guidance to help plan administrators locate and remit payments on behalf of untraceable members and beneficiaries.
2019 QPIP Contribution Rates
|Maximum insurable earnings||$74,000|
|Employee premium rate||0.526%||0.548%|
|Employer premium rate||0.736%||0.767%|
|Self-employer premium rate||0.934%||0.973%|
Jan. 1: The 2019 average Occupational Health and Safety Fund contribution rate will remain at $1.79 per $100 assessable payroll. Maximum annual insurable earnings will increase from $74,000 to $76,500 and maximum weekly insurable earnings will go from $1,419.26 to $1,467.20.
Health Services Fund
Aug. 15: The government unveiled a new plan to reduce contribution rates to the Health Services Fund (FSS). For 2018, the total payroll threshold to benefit from a reduction in the contribution rate to the FSS increases from 5 million to 5.5 million, and will be increased gradually from 2019 to 2022, and indexed annually from 2023.
Sept.: New RQ forms and publications (so far):
- ADM-597-V, Charter of Taxpayers’ and Mandataries’ Rights KEEP
- CO-17.SP.G-T, Sociétés sans but lucratif – Guide de la déclaration de revenus et de renseignements (English courtesy translation)
- IN-647-V, Unclaimed Property
- FP-4522-V, Election or Revocation of an Election for a Qualifying Institution to Use Particular Methods Specified in a Previously Filed Application.