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Young people under 14 years of age

In Quebec, the minimum legal working age is 14.

Exceptions may apply for young people under 14 years of age who hold certain jobs provided for by law. In these situations, the parents’ authorization must be obtained by their employer. The employer must obtain and keep the parental authorization.

It is prohibited to employ a young person under 14 years of age for any type of job other than those provided for by law.

List of jobs that may be held by a young person under 14 years of age

  • Creator or performer in a field of artistic endeavour referred to in section 1 of the Loi sur le statut professionnel des artistes des arts visuels, du cinéma, du disque, de la littérature, des métiers d’art et de la scène
  • Deliverer of newspapers or other publications
  • Babysitters
  • Homework assistance or tutoring
  • Jobs in a family enterprise, under the following conditions:
    • the child must be a child of the employer, a director or a partner, or of the spouse of one of these persons to be able to work in a family enterprise
    • the child must be supervised by an adult at all times
    • the number of workers entered in the wage register and who received pay (except for a vacation benefit) during the period worked by the child must be less than 10, including the child
  • Jobs in a social or community non-profit organization, such as a vacation camp, a day camp or a recreational organization, or in a non-profit sports organization to assist or support another person, such as an assistant monitor, an assistant coach or a marker:
    • the child must be supervised by an adult at all times
  • Jobs in a farming business, under the following conditions:
    • the child must be supervised by an adult at all times
    • the number of workers entered in the wage register and who received pay (except for a vacation benefit) during the period worked by the child must be less than 10, including the child
    • the child must be at least 12 years old to hold a job in a farming business. They can do only light manual labour to harvest fruits or vegetables, care for animals or prepare or maintain the soil
Light manual work

Young people can perform tasks:

  • whose frequency and duration are adapted to their physical and psychological capacity based on:
    • their size
    • their strength
    • their endurance
    • their level of maturity
  • for which the required equipment can be used perfectly by young people at all times
  • for which the instructions and work methods are safe, simple and easy to remember
  • that are carried out on the ground and in a safe environment
  • where there is no nearby vehicle traffic
  • where there is no exposure to hazardous products, such as slurry gas, silage, carbon monoxide, pesticides, fuels

Employers should not assign tasks to young people under 14 years of age that:

  • require the use of motorized equipment
  • require them to sit on farm machinery
  • require significant physical effort
  • expose them to one or more animals that may have aggressive or unpredictable behaviour, such as a bull, a cow and its calf, a herd of cows, a boar, a sow and its piglets, a ram

Examples of light manual work:

  • Tasks where the loads handled are limited to less than 25% of the young person’s weight (about 22 lb. for a 12 year old)
  • Weeding manually using a hoe or weeder adapted to the young person’s height
  • Picking berries or vegetables on the ground manually and without the assistance of a mechanical harvester
  • Feeding poultry or young animals, such as calves, lambs, piglets

Parental authorization

To hire a young person who is under 14 years of age to do one of these jobs, an employer must obtain written consent from one of their parents or their guardian. The employer must use the “Consent to work for a child under 14 years of age (in French only)” form. The employer must keep it for 3 years as if it were an entry in their company register.

Example of a young person under 14 years of age who can work

Christophe is 13 years and 9 months old and works on his uncle’s farm.

Christophe can work on his uncle’s farm with the other 6 workers who already work there. To do his tasks, he is always supervised by an adult. These tasks are:

  • feeding the animals
  • cleaning the enclosures after an adult has taken the animals out
  • picking ripe berries and vegetables.

His uncle, who is his employer, must obtain parental authorization from one of Christophe’s parents.

Laws and regulations

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