What the Act says

The Act respecting labour standards contains provisions concerning terminations of pregnancy that protect the majority of Québec workers, whether they are full or part time.


In the case of a termination of pregnancy beginning from the 20th week, a female employee is entitled to the 18 weeks of maternity leave stipulated in the Act. If the termination of her pregnancy occurs before the 20th week, the employee is entitled to the 3-week special maternity leave, without pay.


Termination of pregnancy before the start of the 20th week

Stéphanie is in the 15th week of her pregnancy when a termination of pregnancy occurs. She is entitled to a special maternity leave. This leave cannot exceed 3 weeks without pay unless her physician issues a medical certificate justifying a longer absence.

Termination of pregnancy starting from the 20th week

Chloé is in the 24th week of her pregnancy when she delivers a stillborn. She is then entitled to a leave of 18 continuous weeks without pay. If she had carried her pregnancy to term, she would have benefitted from the same number of weeks for her maternity leave. As for her spouse Alain, he can be absent from work for 5 days. As he is credited with more than 60 days of service, the first two days are with pay.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is an employee who adopts the child of his spouse entitled to the 5 days of leave?
    Yes. He has been entitled to these 5 days without pay since January 1, 2006, the first 2 days of which may be remunerated in the case of an employee credited with 60 days of uninterrupted service. Before that date, he was only entitled to 2 days of leave without pay.

  2. Is the length of the leave doubled if the employee gives birth to twins?
    No. The length of the leave is the same as if the employee had only one child.

  3. Are senior managerial personnel and employees subject to the construction decree entitled to the leave for birth, adoption or interruption of pregnancy?
    Yes. They are entitled to it, even though the major portion of the other provisions of the Act do not apply to them.

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