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Agency respondent

Person designated by a personnel placement agency or a temporary foreign worker recruitment agency to be responsible for communications with the CNESST regarding the licence application and the application of obligations associated with the licence.

Annual leave

Paid annual vacation to which workers are entitled and whose length is generally based on the length of the worker's uninterrupted service. 

Application for review

Challenge of a decision rendered by the CNESST.

Application without discrimination

An employer's obligation to exercise vigilance at all stages of pay equity work, including in their job class value determination plan, to ensure that it reflects the characteristics of both predominantly male and predominantly female job classes. 


Bank money order

Method of payment whereby the funds are guaranteed by a financial institution. 


Situation of an employer who is unable to pay their debts and meet their commitments. 

Bodily injury

Physical or psychological sequelae in a worker as a result of a work accident or occupational disease.

Breach of discipline

Wilful misconduct of a worker who commits wrongdoing in the performance of their duties or who fails to comply with the company's internal rules.


Certified association

Association of workers recognized by the Tribunal administratif du travail. It has the exclusive power to negotiate working conditions and to try to conclude a collective agreement for the staff members it represents. Many unions are certified associations.


Action taken by a worker who has had a work accident or an occupational disease to obtain compensation from the CNESST.

A claim may also be made by CNESST to claim, on its behalf or on behalf of a worker, a sum of money from an employer to enforce certain provisions of the law and its regulations. 

CNESST inspector

CNESST employee who visits and inspects workplaces to ensure the health and safety of staff and who ensures compliance with laws and regulations.

Collective agreement

Written agreement on working conditions between one or more certified associations and one or more employers or employers' associations.


Legal form of a company that may be a corporation, a general partnership or a limited partnership, depending on the projects, needs and objectives of the company.


Worker who files a complaint because they believe that one of their rights has not been respected. A non-profit workers' rights organization may also be a complainant. The worker must give their written authorization to the organization that files a complaint with the CNESST on their behalf.


Healing or stabilization of an employment injury (injury or illness) after which no improvement in the worker's health is foreseeable.


Person who undertakes to carry out work for a client under a contract for services. 


Discriminatory measure

Unlawful measure whereby an employer carries out an action that adversely affects a worker's job or working conditions. They treat a worker differently from other workers, to their disadvantage, because of their gender, race, religion, age, opinions or personal situation.

Duty to comply

Situation where an employer or group of employers is required to comply with a law or regulation.  


Emerging risks

Risks that are not very well documented and are the subject of scientific research. 


Person or establishment that has one or more workers carry out work for them and under their authority in exchange for a wage.

Employment injury

Injury (for example, broken leg) or illness (for example, depression) arising out of or in the course of:

  • a work accident
  • an occupational disease 
  • a recurrence, relapse or aggravation of an employment injury
  • care that a worker receives for an employment injury or the omission of such care
  • an activity prescribed for the worker as part of the medical treatment they are receiving for an employment injury or as part of their personal rehabilitation plan

Equivalent job

Job comparable to the job held by the worker at the time of the employment injury. Its characteristics are similar to those of the job the worker held in terms of the vocational qualifications required, salary or wages, social benefits, duration and working conditions. All these criteria must be present for another job to be recognized as an equivalent job.

Equivalent value

Criterion used to compare different jobs that received the same score (or rank) when assessing job classes.

Exemption from retrospective ratemaking

Whereby an employer is no longer subject to retrospective ratemaking.

Experience file

File for each activity of the company that contains the history of the payroll, jurisdiction and claims filed by workers in the event of a work accident or occupational disease.
The experience file number is an 8-character code that usually starts with the number 7. An employer may have several experience files and a specific number is assigned to each one.


Fitness to work

An employer may request a medical assessment to determine if medically a worker can perform a specific job or task under normal working conditions. The assessment considers the person's physical or mental abilities. The CNESST makes the final decision as to the worker's ability to work.

Formal notice

Legal document given to an employer following an investigation by the CNESST which orders them to pay the amount of money it deems due to one or more workers.

Functional limitation

Restriction or reduction of a worker's physical or mental capacity in their professional activities because of an employment injury (injury or illness). 


Gender predominance

Determination of a job class in a company. A job class may be predominantly male or female. In some cases, a job class may be neither male nor female or neutral. The predominance of a job class is based on the following 4 criteria: 

  • occupational stereotype
  • rate of representation
  • historical incumbency
  • significant difference

Gross annual income

All pre-tax income earned by a worker in a year. This includes all income received, such as wages, annuities and child support payments.

Gross fault

Disregard, recklessness or gross negligence of a worker who participated in a criminal offence or contributed to harm.

Gross salary or wages

Any form of remuneration that comes from the employer and is part of employment income. Employment income includes tips paid by the employer to the worker as remuneration.



Court session during which the parties’ pleadings and witness testimony are heard. 

Holding proposal

Offer made to creditors by or for an insolvent person to enable them to reorganize their debts.

Home childcare provider

Person who, in a private home, provides childcare services to parents with whom they enter into a contract in exchange for remuneration. To be considered a home childcare provider, the person must be recognized by a coordinating office.

Home renovation

Home renovation work that is performed for a person acting on their own account, for personal and non-profit purposes. This work includes:

  • maintenance, repair, renovation and alteration of the person's home
  • the construction of a garage or shed attached to the person's home, whether or not the home is close to the garage or shed



Sum of money paid as compensation to a worker who has suffered an employment injury (injury or illness). 

Initial exercise

Name given to the initial work  an employer is required to do to achieve pay equity. 

Insurance file

File that presents all the information, including payroll and claims, used to calculate the employer's premium rate.

Intermediate resource or family-type resource

Person who provides accommodation, support or assistance services based on the needs of users in order to keep or integrate them in society.



Period during which a worker is allowed to be absent from work without their employment contract being terminated.

Legal form or structure

Legal status of the company. In Québec, companies may operate under several legal forms or structures (for example, in the form of a sole proprietorship, a corporation or a general partnership).

Legal person

Group of individuals or establishment recognized by law as having a legal existence and that has rights and obligations. 

A legal person has a separate existence from their shareholders or members. They have a name and a domicile. They may acquire property. They have rights and responsibilities. A legal person may prosecute or be prosecuted like a natural person.



Impartial and independent person appointed by the CNESST to support the worker and the employer in their mediation process. If an agreement cannot be reached, the mediator/adjudicator convenes a hearing and renders a decision.


Natural person

Individual recognized as having a legal personality who has the capacity to exercise a certain number of rights and take legal action.

Non-working day

Day when a person does not work.



For the purposes of the Règlement sur les agences de placement de personnel et les agences de recrutement de travailleurs étrangers temporaires, an officer is: 

  • a partner
  • a member of a partnership
  • a president
  • a chief executive officer
  • a chief operating officer
  • a chief financial officer
  • a director
  • a secretary of a legal person, a partnership or other entity
  • a shareholder holding 10% or more of the voting shares attached to the shares of a legal person
  • a person designated as such by the board of directors


Part-time worker

Permanent or temporary worker who does fewer hours of work than the regular hours of work in their sector of activity or in the company that employs them.

Pay equity

Right of workers in a typically female job to have a wage equal to that of a person in a typically male job of equivalent value in the same company.

Pay equity work

Familiar name for the initial pay equity exercise and pay equity audits.

Permanent physical or psychological impairment

Irreversible disability in a worker caused by an employment injury (injury or illness).

Postal money order

Method of payment that can be purchased at a post office. This method allows funds to be transmitted between a payer and a recipient. 

Predominant risks

Risks identified by a statistical analysis of injury rates, whether in terms of severity, frequency or growth. These risks affect, to varying degrees, every sector of activity and alone account for around two thirds of accepted employment injuries.

Principal contractor

Owner or person responsible for carrying out all the work on a construction site. 

Proven risks

Risks that are documented and reported to be harmful for which preventive measures must be put in place.


Person or establishment that provides goods or services to workers who have suffered an employment injury (injury or illness).



Means by which the CNESST may demand that a law or regulation be enforced. A recourse may also be used by a complainant, such as a worker, employer or certified association, to assert their rights.


Member of the same family, such as the child, father, mother, brother, sister and grandparents of the worker or their spouse. 

A relative also refers to the spouses of members of the same family, their children and the spouses of their children. The spouses of these people, their children and the spouses of their children are also considered relatives. 

The following people are also considered to be a relative of a worker:

  • a person who has acted or is acting as a foster family for the worker or their spouse
  • a child for whom the worker or their spouse has acted or is acting as a foster family
  • a guardian or trustee of the worker or their spouse or a person under the guardianship or trusteeship of the worker or their spouse
  • an incompetent person who has designated the worker or their spouse as mandatary
  • any other person for whom the worker is entitled to benefits under an act for the assistance and care they provide because of their health


All financial compensation and miscellaneous benefits provided to a person in exchange for work or a service.


Action taken by an employer that adversely affects a worker's job or working conditions on grounds prohibited by law in order to seek revenge.


Member of the Reserve Force of the Canadian Armed Forces. Reservists are enlisted and receive military training, but are not on active duty. They may be called up as reinforcements during an operation conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces abroad or in Canada.

Retraining program

Training program for a worker who suffered an employment injury and needs to update their knowledge in order to return to the job they held before the accident or to secure an equivalent job.


Salary or wages

Remuneration in current currency and benefits with a monetary value for a worker's work or services. 

Seasonal job

Job held only at certain times of the year, on roughly fixed dates, due to the nature of the activity carried out. The forestry, agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors provide many seasonal jobs.


Amount required by the CNESST as a financial guarantee for:

  • obtaining a personnel placement agency licence or temporary foreign worker recruitment agency licence
  • payment of the contribution of a group of employers

Self-employed worker

Worker who carries out one or more professional activities on their own account. Their services are paid for in the form of a fee rather than a salary or wage. They work with their own work tools and equipment. The worker can make profits or losses. 

Service provider

Person or establishment that provides services in exchange for compensation.  


Period of work in an establishment whose productive activity is divided into 2 or 3 successive periods of time during the 24 hours of a day. For example, an establishment has 2 shifts if the second period of work consists of a group of workers that is different from the first period of work for the same productive activity.

Specific clienteles

People who are more vulnerable and at increased risk of suffering an employment injury, such as people in a new job.



  • who are married or in a civil union and who live together
  • who live in a de facto union and who are the parents of the same child
  • who have been living in a de facto union for at least 1 year


Set of rules, principles and elements designed to standardize methods or means of action. A standard is also used to guide the application of a policy.

For example, labour standards set out the minimum rights and conditions that an employer must offer workers when they are bound by an employment contract.

Statutory general holiday

Religious or civil holiday that is usually a non-working day.

Suitable job

Depending on the essential tasks and characteristics of this type of job, a job is considered suitable when:

  • the work is appropriate
  • it allows the worker to use their remaining ability to work
  • it allows the worker to use their vocational qualifications
  • the worker has a reasonable chance of obtaining work
  • the working conditions do not endanger the worker's health, safety or physical or psychological well-being considering their employment injury


Trial period

Period after a worker takes up a position when the employer assesses their ability to do the job before hiring them if the result is positive.

Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT)

Tribunal responsible for deciding various labour law disputes in Québec.


Uninterrupted service

Period during which the worker is considered to be employed by the same employer. Uninterrupted service accumulates even if the worker is absent, for example, for paid leave, leave without pay or a work accident. What is important is that there is no definitive termination of the employment contract. Uninterrupted service also corresponds to the period during which fixed-term contracts succeed one another without interruption. 

Uninterrupted service is interrupted, for example, by a resignation, a dismissal, a termination or a fixed-term employment contract that expires.


Wage rate

Wage earned per hour. It does not include benefits that have a significant monetary value (such as group insurance, vacation, pension plan, etc.) that constitute remuneration. 

Wage register

Mandatory registration system kept by the employer that contains all the information required under labour standards concerning the worker and their job. For example, the worker's first name and surname, the number of hours per day and the total number of hours per week.

Working conditions

Set of factors (such as wages, leave and benefits) that are associated with workers’ professional activities in a workplace.

Working day

Day when a worker normally works.


Zero tolerance

Risks arising from hazards with serious consequences and considered unacceptable in the workplace. In the event of non-compliance with the rules, the CNESST inspector stops the work and legal proceedings may be instituted (statements of offence).