In Canada, each province has different rules regarding the legal age at which young people can start working. In Quebec, it is good to know that there is no minimum age, but there are 3 rules to respect for the well-being of young people.
1. Parental consent
Before the age of 14, a young person cannot work without the written consent of his parents or legal guardians. The employer must keep this authorization for a period of three years. However, this document is not required for custodial jobs.
2. Schooling comes first
In Quebec, school comes before work. The law requires that young people go to school until the last day of the school year, when they turn 16. Under no circumstances can a student miss school because he or she has to work. The employer must therefore ensure that the youth’s work schedule does not interfere with his or her school hours.
In addition, a minor under the age of 16 cannot work at night. They are required to be at home between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Exceptions apply if he or she:
is a paperboy,
creating or participating in artistic productions
works at a summer camp and is required by his or her working conditions to remain at his or her place of employment. This rule only applies if he/she does not have school the next day.
3. A secure job
It is possible to work in Quebec if you are under 18, but the job must be safe. By law, an employer must not assign a job that is beyond the teen’s abilities. Nor must it jeopardize their education or harm their health and physical or moral development.
Do you have any questions?
If you have questions about working as a minor, you can visit the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). The CNESST is the organization that the Quebec government has entrusted with the promotion of rights and obligations in the workplace.