Governing Legislations: Employers planning to do business in Quebec should familiarize themselves with their duties and obligations under various Quebec laws and regulations. Key legislation in Quebec  addresses, among others, employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, labour relations and pay equity. Employers and employees in Quebec also have obligations under the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ). The CCQ notably covers the general definition of an employment contract, obligations during and post employment (such as the duty of loyalty and confidentiality) and the obligation to provide reasonable notice in cases of termination without a serious reason.

Language Requirements: Generally speaking,  employees in Quebec have a right to work in French. As such, employers cannot fire or refuse to hire someone just because he/she is unable to speak a language other than French, unless it can be shown that knowledge of this other language is necessary for the position(for example, a call centre job that requires employees to communicate with English-speaking clients).

With some exceptions, businesses with fifty or more employees are required to follow certain “francization” rules to ensure that French is genereralized at all levels of the business including within internal and external communications; computer technology and software; work documents, manuals, and catalogues. Employers can use another language as long as they ensure that a French version is available and French continues to remain the usual language of the business.

Workers’ compensation: The Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases has created a “no fault” system of liability with respect to workplace injuries or diseases.  This means that an employee cannot sue his/her employer for a workplace injury or disease; instead, there is a process for compensation that will cover the cost of care, rehabilitation and income replacement indemnities.  This no-fault insurance plan is financed exclusively by employers in Quebec.

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