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Reassignment allows pregnant or breastfeeding workers to be assigned to another position or other duties if their job involves physical hazards to their health or that of their child. Reassignment is a beneficial measure that allows these workers to continue to work safely during their pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Request for reassignment

When the worker gives her employer her “Certificat visant le retrait préventif et l'affectation de la travailleuse enceinte ou qui allaite”, this constitutes her request for reassignment. If it is impossible for the employer to offer her a reassignment, the employer may opt for preventive withdrawal.

The employer may offer a reassignment at any time during the worker’s pregnancy or while she is breastfeeding.

Choice of reassignment

When proposing a reassignment to other duties or to another position, the employer must take the following into consideration:

  • the reassignment must be safe, i.e., the hazards described in the certificate are not present in the new duties assigned or the new position proposed
  • the new position or new duties do not expose the worker to new hazards
  • the worker has the physical ability, skills and training required to perform the duties of the reassignment

While on reassignment, the worker must report for work. If she believes that the reassignment offered by her employer is unsafe or if she feels unable to perform the duties, she may contest the reassignment.

Maintenance of employment benefits

During her reassignment, the worker retains all the benefits of the job she held before she was reassigned, including her regular wages. If the wages for the reassignment position are lower than her regular wages or if the reassignment is part time, the employer must still pay the worker her regular wages for the entire duration of the reassignment.

As an employer, if you offer a part-time reassignment or a reassignment at lower wages than the worker's regular position, you can apply to the CNESST for financial support to reimburse you the difference between the worker's regular wages and the wages for her reassignment position.

At the end of her reassignment, the worker must return to her regular job.

Laws and regulations

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