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Trainees may complete an educational, probationary, refresher or upgrading training period in the course of their work. The training period may be completed in order to do a job or a new task in a job. It can also be a probationary period or a training period at the beginning of a job that is required by the employer. In most cases, the employer must pay the trainee during these periods.

These categories of trainees are covered by all the legislation enforced by the CNESST.

The CNESST gives employers the opportunity to take on a worker who has suffered a work accident or occupational disease as a trainee. In this case, the employer must:

  • be registered with the CNESST (in French only)
  • have an experience file in good standing
  • be able to offer the worker a training period that they are capable of doing, depending on their condition or situation


In terms of trainee protection (French only), certain conditions apply in the case of a work accident or occupational disease.

Conditions also apply to trainees when calculating the size of a business for the purposes of pay equity (French only).

Exceptions to labour standards for student trainees

The working conditions provided for under the Loi sur les normes du travail apply to student trainees except in the following situations:

  • a student who works during the school year in an establishment selected by an educational institution and within the framework of a work initiation program approved by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES). However, they are covered by the provisions relating to:
  • trainees within the framework of a vocational training program recognized by law (for example, articling period for the Bar, articling period in accounting, etc.). These trainees are covered by most of the provisions of the Loi sur les normes du travail, except for the right to minimum wage and the right to annual vacation, from which they are excluded.
  • a person who works within the framework of employment assistance measures or programs that provide for workplace exploration training periods to clarify vocational orientation or to support job integration or job preparation is excluded from the Loi sur les normes du travail. This exception applies for the first 4 weeks of each of these training periods.

Further information

The Loi sur l’équité salariale and the Loi sur les normes du travail do not apply to students or trainees when the job is part of a Québec university or college program.

Laws and regulations

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