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Information kit intended for live-in caregivers and their employers

Labour standards and live-in caregivers

Labour standards and live-in caregivers

Are you a caregiver residing with your employer?
Have you hired a caregiver and does he or she reside at your home?
Here is what you should know about labour standards in Québec.

Wage

A caregiver who resides with his or her employer is entitled to the general minimum wage rate.

In addition, an employer may not charge a sum of money for room and meals from a caregiver who takes his or her meals and lodges at the employer’s home.

Pay sheet

With each pay, the employer must give the caregiver a pay sheet allowing the caregiver to calculate his or her wages and the deductions.

The Commission is making available to employers a simplified registration sheet (PDF, 4.5 Ko) which they can complete and give to the caregiver in their employ as a pay sheet.

Regular workweek and overtime

The regular workweek of a caregiver who resides with his or her employer is 40 hours. Hours worked beyond this period are overtime. They must be paid at the regular rate with a 50% premium (time and a half).

If the caregiver requests it, the employer may replace the payment of overtime with a leave. This leave must be of a duration equivalent to the overtime worked, increased by 50%. It must be taken in the 12 months following the overtime worked at a date agreed upon between the employer and the caregiver.

Making a note of the hours worked is important!

It is important for the employer and the caregiver to make a note each day of the hours worked. A register of the hours worked (PDF, 41.0 Ko) allows the employer and the caregiver to make sure that all hours worked are paid correctly.  

Meal and rest periods

After a period of five consecutive hours, the caregiver is entitled to a 30-minute period without pay for his or her meal. This period must be paid if the caregiver is not authorized to leave work.
Each week, a caregiver is entitled to a rest period of at least 32 consecutive hours.

Statutory holidays

The Act respecting labour standards provides for seven statutory holidays in addition to the National Holiday. In order for the caregiver to be entitled to a holiday, he or she must not have been absent from work without the employer’s authorization or without valid reason on the working day before or after the statutory holiday. If the caregiver must work on the statutory holiday, he or she must obtain, in addition to his or her usual wages, a compensatory indemnity or leave. For more information concerning statutory holidays and the indemnity calculation method, consult the section entitled statutory holidays.

Vacation

The right to a vacation is acquired over a period of 12 consecutive months. This period, known as the reference period, generally extends from May 1st to April 30th. The leave and the payment must be given in the year that follows. The vacation indemnity corresponds to 4% or 6% (depending on the length of continuous service) of the gross wages earned during the reference year.

The vacation may be postponed to the following year if, at the end of the year that follows the reference period, the caregiver is absent due to sickness, accident or a criminal offence, or is absent or on leave for family or parental reasons. If the employer does not agree to postpone the vacation, the employer must then pay the caregiver the vacation indemnity to which he or she is entitled.

A caregiver must know the date of his or her vacation at least four weeks ahead of time. The employer has the privilege of setting the date of the vacation.

For more information, consult the vacation section

Absences and leaves for family or parental reasons

The Act respecting labour standards grants the employee a certain number of leaves with or without pay, as the case may be, for family events related to the employee’s family, notably:

•    the day of his or her marriage
•    at the death or funeral of certain members of his or her family
•    to benefit from a maternity or paternity leave, a parental leave
•    at the birth of his or her child
•    to meet certain family or parental obligations.

Recourses

The Act respecting labour standards allows a caregiver to assert his or her rights and the Commission des normes du travail to exercise civil recourses following a complaint to claim sums that have not been paid by the employer. The Act allows a caregiver to file a complaint in the case of the following situations:

•    following prohibited practices
•    following a dismissal not made for good and sufficient cause
•    following psychological harassment.

Additional information

To obtain additional information on the standards that apply to live-in caregivers, consult our pamphlet entitled Labour standards in Québec and domestics residing with their employer (PDF, 1.2 Mo)