Quebec seeks consensus for child labor

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Qu&eacute ;bec seeks consensus for child labor

In Quebec, children can work with parental permission.

Quebec is considering imposing a minimum age to work, as well as a maximum number of hours of work that a young person can perform.< /p>

In an interview on Friday, Labor Minister Jean Boulet said he was helped in his thinking by Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy.

She had requested and obtained a meeting with the minister to discuss, in particular, the increase in the number of work accidents involving children. That number jumped 36% among under-16s in 2021.

It is certain that Marwah will be consulted again, declared the minister, who also wishes to work on this cross-cutting issue with Québec solidaire and the Parti québécois.

Minister Boulet says he is looking for a consensus; he will also receive a report from the Labor and Labor Advisory Committee on December 8.

According to him, there have always been children in the labor market, but the phenomenon has recently been “amplified” with the shortage of labour; work.

It does not rule out legislating to achieve two objectives: to protect the health and safety of children, and not to compromise their educational path. In other words, it is about giving maximum protection to young people.

“I am concerned about the minimum age. I am also interested in a maximum of working hours, either daily or weekly. »

— Jean Boulet, Minister of Labor

I am not at this stage to confirm that we are going to draft a bill, but the reflection is not far from its conclusion. […] In January-February, I want this file to progress, he continued.

Unlike other Canadian provinces, Quebec does not impose a minimum legal age to work. With parental permission, a child can start working whenever they want.

The Minister of Labour, Jean Boulet

But that does not mean that the Quebec is a dunce in Canada, underlines the minister. Several articles scattered throughout Quebec laws already govern child labor.

In particular, it recalls that a young person aged 16 or under who has not obtained a diploma cannot work during school hours.

Furthermore, he maintains that work can be beneficial for a young person. Thus, he can thrive in a family business, in the agricultural sector or by doing babysitting, for example.

Last year, British Columbia raised the minimum working age from 12 to 16. However, it is possible for the youngest in this province to do light work.

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