On May 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Québec was raised from $10.75/hr to $11.25/hr. Although not as substantial as the increases that have recently been implemented in other North American jurisdictions, this raise is still significant when compared with the average annual increase implemented in the province for the past 10 years.

Some employers seem to take this situation as an opportunity to reorganize their employees’ working conditions in the name of profitability. For example, it has been reported in the media that some employers have decided to stop offering the usual 15-minute coffee breaks (which have to be paid) during a 7-hour shift, replacing such breaks with a 30-minute lunch break, which does not have to be paid, pursuant to the Québec Labour Standards Act. It goes without saying that this tactic is not very popular with the affected employees because it results in them having less money in their pockets, even with the $0.50/hr raise…

Before enforcing such measures, employers should carefully evaluate the potential impacts on their workforce: from mass resignations to constructive dismissal claims to unionization campaigns, not to mention bad publicity, it might be safer to hold still for the time being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *