Part I - Act respecting labour standards
CHAPTER IV - Labour standards
1990, c. 73, s. 12; 1999, c. 40, s. 196; 2002, c. 80, s. 8.
Up until April 30, 2003, the Act and its regulations distinguished between various categories of farm workers by excluding them from one or more labour standards.
Beginning on May 1, 2003, some of these categories disappeared and employees of the agriculture sector are henceforth designated as farm workers and acquire the right to the provisions dealing with wages (s. 40 ALS and following), including the right to the minimum wage. With respect to the right to the minimum wage, some exceptions are provided for in the Regulation respecting labour standards, namely an "employee assigned mainly to non-mechanized operations relating to the picking of processing vegetables" (s. 2, para. 6) RLS) as well as an "employee assigned mainly to non-mechanized operations relating to the picking of raspberries or strawberries" whose wage is established on the basis of yield (s. 4.1 RLS).
All are entitled to the provisions dealing with the annual leave. For a farm worker hired on a daily basis, the annual leave indemnity may be paid at the same time as his wages (s. 75 ALS). As for the weekly rest period, the farm worker’s consent is now necessary for the employer to be able to postpone it (s. 78 ALS).
However, farm workers do remain excluded from the computation of overtime for the purposes of increasing their regular wages, as do workers assigned to canning, packaging and freezing fruit and vegetables during the harvesting period (s. 54, subparagraph 7) and 5) ALS). This means that for all of the hours worked over and above the regular workweek, these workers must receive their regular wage rate for all of the hours worked.