Section 2 of the Regulation Respecting Labour Standards sets out the rules about minimum wage in Quebec.
On May 1, 2020, Quebec’s minimum wage rates went up. The new general minimum wage for 2020 and into 2021 in Quebec is $13.10 per hour. This is an increase of 60 cents per hour from the old minimum wage, $12.50, which was in place until April 30, 2020.
The following chart shows the new minimum wage rules in Quebec beginning on May 1, 2020:
|Minimum wage type||Minimum wage rate after May 1, 2020|
|General minimum wage||$13.10 per hour|
|Student minimum wage||There is no special student minimum wage. Students are paid the general minimum wage. However, students employed in a social non-profit and students in regulated professional training programs are exempt from the minimum wage in Quebec.|
|Employees who receive tips||$10.45 per hour|
What about Domestic Workers?
Domestic workers like nannies must be paid the general minimum wage ($13.10). There is no lesser wage in Quebec for domestic workers.
However, if the employer provides room and/or board (meals) to the domestic worker (or any kind of worker for that matter), they can deduct set amounts for room and board in the calculation of the employee’s pay:
Set amounts if providing room only
- $28.53 maximum per week for “rooms”, or
- $51.33 maximum per week for “dwellings”
- “Room” means a room in a dwelling unit that has a bed and a chest of drawers for each employee who is accommodated and that allows access to a toilet and a shower or bath;
- “Dwelling” means a dwelling unit that has at least 1 room and allows access to at least a washer and dryer as well as a kitchen with a refrigerator, a stove and a microwave oven.
Set amounts if providing meals only
Minimum Wage and Commission Employees
If an employee works on-site and has regular hours, and he or she is paid entirely or partly on commissions, the employer must pay the employe an amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.
For example, if an employee has earned no commissions one week, he is still entitled to the minimum wage for all hours worked. If a commissioned employee’s wage is below minimum wage for the hours they worked, the employer must top up their payment so that it’s equal to minimum wage. If, on the other hand, an employee has earned over $524 (40 x $13.10), for example, in a 40-hour workweek, the employer will not need to make up any difference.
However, if an employee is paid entirely on commission and (1) they work offsite and (2) their hours are not controlled by the employer, then they are exempt from minimum wage in Quebec. For example, a salesperson who makes sales calls from home at his or her own leisure and only receives a commission on the sales he or she makes would be exempt from the minimum wage.
Employees who Receive Tips
Employees who receive tips as a major part of their income are entitled to a lesser minimum wage ($10.45 instead of $13.10). For example, an employee who works in these industries and usually receives tips from customers will be entitled to the lesser minimum wage for employees who get tips:
- restaurants, except for fast food establishments
- food delivery
- bars and clubs
Future Minimum Wage in Quebec
There is no minimum wage hike planned for 2021 and 2020 at this time in Quebec.
Jeff is an employment lawyer in Toronto. He is the Principal of the Dutton Employment Law Group at Monkhouse Law. Jeff is a frequent lecturer on employment law and is the author of an employment law textbook and various trade journal articles.