Quebec small business owner running her payroll

Quebec Payroll Guide

When you’re putting hard work into ensuring the success of your business, the last thing you need is to be hit with payroll regulation surprises. This guide will provide you with the information you need so that you can make sure to dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s when it comes to Quebec employee rights, compliance regulations, Quebec remittances and more.

When you’re putting hard work into ensuring the success of your business, the last thing you need is to be hit with payroll regulation surprises. This guide will provide you with the information you need so that you can make sure to dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s when it comes to Quebec employee rights, compliance regulations, Quebec remittances and more.

Quebec Minimum Wage

As of May 1st 2022 the Quebec minimum wage was raised by $ 0.75 to $14.25 per hour. The minimum wage paid to employees who work at a hotel/restaurant and receive gratuity was raised by $0.60 to $11.40.

Learn more about Canadian restaurant taxes here

Hours of Work

In the province of Quebec the regulations regarding hours of work are as follows. 

  • Maximum hours: There are no regulations in Quebec as long as it is safe for workers to work.
  • Overtime hours: Any hours worked over 40 hours per week
  • Overtime rates: 1 1/2 times the employee's standard rate of pay
  • Break period: 1/2 hour for every consecutive 5 hours worked
  • Rest period: Workers are entitled to a rest period of at least 32 consecutive hours within 7 days away from the workplace. In the case of a farm worker, the rest period may be postponed to the following week if they agree to this.

Statutory holidays 

On a statutory holiday, workers are entitled to a holiday and an indemnity. Here is a list of statutory holidays and non-working days with pay: 

  • January 1 (New Year’s Day)  
  • Good Friday or Easter Monday, at the employer’s option 
  • The Monday preceding May 25 (National Patriots’ Day) 
  • June 24 (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day) 
  • July 1 (Canada Day). If this date falls on a Sunday, July 2
  • The first Monday in September (Labour Day) 
  • The second Monday in October (Thanksgiving) 
  • December 25 (Christmas Day)

Normally, workers do not work on statutory holidays. However, some companies may stay open due to the nature of their activities, for example if they provide: 

  • an essential service (e.g., hospitals, taxis, buses) 
  • a service that must be maintained (e.g., gas stations, convenience stores, hotels, maintenance of molten metal in foundries) 

A worker who is required to work on a statutory holiday is entitled to their wages for the day. They are also entitled to an indemnity or a holiday at another time, at the employer’s option.

If the employer decides to grant the postponed vacation, the employee will therefore be entitled to a day of paid leave on a date other than the statutory holiday. A deferred holiday must be taken in the 3 weeks preceding or following the statutory holiday (except for the National Holiday).

If an employee were to take a leave of absence and a statutory holiday falls on a day they would normally work, then the employee is entitled to compensation for that day. 

Workers Compensation Quebec

Employers are required to contribute to the Commission des normes du travail, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). This year, the maximum insurable earnings are $83,500.

Employers must pay a contribution related to labour standards. The contribution rate in 2021 is $0.07 for every $100 of insurable payroll.

They must also contribute to the occupational health and safety plan. In 2021, the average premium rate for the plan is $1.77 for every $100 of payroll. The specific rate varies between $0.24 and $16.23 per $100 of payroll depending on the employer’s classification unit.

Quebec Payroll Tax Deductions and Remittances

As an employer, you are required to make source deductions (QPP, QPIP, health services fund, WSDRF, labour standards and income tax) and pay employer contributions on remunerations  subject to these deductions, including contributions you pay to employees in all of the following circumstances: 

  • Employees reporting to work at any of your establishments located within Québec.
  • Employees that do not report to your establishments for work (in Québec or elsewhere), but are paid directly from your establishments located within Québec.

Labour standards 

In relation to the labour standards, employers are required to pay a contribution at the rate of 0.07% applicable to the total remuneration amount subject to the contribution paid to employees. For 2021, the maximum remuneration subject to the contribution is $83,500 for each employee.

As of January 1, 2022, the contribution rate related to labour standards has been reduced from 0.07% to 0.06%. At the same time, these changes have affected certain employers once exempt from paying labour standards contributions are not subject to contributions, including: 

  • Municipalities and metropolitan communities 
  • School service centres, school boards, and educational institutions
  • Public transit authorities 
  • the Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l’île de Montréal
  • Day care centres
  • The Quebec government including departments and certain bodies 
  • the Commission de la construction du Québec
  • Bodies established under a Quebec statute or by a government decision,  the Conseil du trésor or a minister
  • the Agence du revenu du Québec
  •  the National Assembly, the Lieutenant-Governor, any any person appointed to an office under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly 
  • parity committees constituted under the Act respecting collective agreement decrees


Under these changes, such employers contribution rates will increase to 0.02% for 2022, 0.03% for 2023 and 0.05% for 2024. In 2025 and onward, the contribution rate will stay the same for all employers.

Contribution to the WSDRF

Should your business’s total payroll for the year come to over $2 million, then you must participate in the Workforce Skills Development and Recognition Fund for the year. To do this, you must allot an amount representing at least 1% of the business’s total payroll towards eligible training expenditures. 

However, it is important to note, if you possess a training initiative quality certificate issued by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, then you do not need to pay a contribution to the WSDRF for the length of time the certification is valid. 

To determine if the remuneration your business is paying is subject to this contribution, look to the Table of Remuneration Subject to Source Deductions and Employer Contributions.

Health services fund contribution rates (%) for 2022

The following table illustrates the health services fund contribution rates for 2022 as dictated by the total amount of payroll (TP):

Quebec Pay Statements

Although Quebec’s labour standards has no firm regulation on this topic, the Charter of the French Language indicates that all written communications to an employee must be provided in French:

  • All employers must draw up a written communication to staff in the official language, including drawing up and publishing offers of employment and promotion in French. 

Section 89 of the Act provides the possibility of producing a bilingual pay statement in both French and another language:

  • Where the Act does not online the use of the official language exclusively, French and another language may be used in tandem. 

The pay frequency minimum is semi-monthly for the province of Quebec. Employees must receive proper remuneration every 16 days. As dictated by legislation, all Quebec pay statements must include the following:

  • Allocated gratuities
  • Bonus, commissions and allowances
  • Declared gratuities
  • Itemized Deductions
  • Gross earnings
  • Hourly pay rate
  • Hours paid at current rate
  • Name of the employer
  • Net pay
  • Occupation of employee
  • Overtime hours and rate
  • Payment date & and pay period of payment
  • Other earnings or payments
  • Statutory, public, general and holiday pay hours
  • Surname & Given name of the employee
  • Vacation pay

Leave of Absence in Quebec

Termination Notice

An employer must provide workers with the mandated length of notice of termination of employment when they are dismissed, terminated, or laid off for 6 months or longer. 

An employer is not required to give notice of termination of employment if the: 

  • Employee completed the task in which they were hired to complete
  • Employee is terminated or laid off due to a force majeure event
  • Employee is found guilty of misconduct justifying immediate termination
  • Employment contract is a fixed-term contract  
  • Employee is credited with fewer than 3 months of uninterrupted service

Employers that do not give sufficient notice to employees must pay the worker an indemnity. The indemnity must be equal to the regular wages they would have earned between the date on which the notice should have been provided and the termination of their employment. Overtime must not be included when calculating the indemnity.  

The indemnity must be paid at the time of termination of employment or at the time of the next pay.  

A worker who resigns before the date of termination of employment is not entitled to an indemnity for the remaining weeks of the notice period following their resignation.

QuickBooks Online payroll software will allow your business to run efficiently by streamlining your payroll process and overall financial needs. You will be able to easily pay employees right from  QuickBooks Online as well as gain access to other features like filing taxes, creating year end forms, complete time tracking, and so much more. Try it today.  

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