Legislation would also limit number of work hours during school year
The Quebec government has tabled a bill that would prevent children under the age of 14 from working most jobs.
Labour Minister Jean Boulet says Bill 19 is the result of a recommendation from a legislature committee and on recent reports noting a rise in workplace injuries involving children.
Bill 19 would ban people under the age of 14 from the workforce except for certain jobs, including newspaper delivery, babysitting, day camp monitoring or tutoring.
The legislation would also prohibit youth between the ages of 14 and 16 from working more than 17 hours a week during the school year, including no more than 10 hours a week between Monday and Friday, except during holidays or spring break.
CUPE and its provincial occupational health and safety committee have been pushing for this legislation along with other unions, following a report from Quebec’s workplace safety board, CNESST, which found 203 children under the age of 16 were hurt on the job in 2021 and received compensation.
There is currently no minimum working age in Quebec, unlike in many other Canadian provinces.
As of June 12, 2023, the federal minimum age for workers to be employed in hazardous occupations will be upped to 18 from the current 17.
Quebec's workplace health and safety board says between 2017 and 2021 the number of annual occupational injuries involving children aged 14 and under rose to 64 from 10.
The Canadian Press