VOLUME 9 No. 3 | FEBRUARY 12, 2019

Changes to the Labour Standards Act – leave for family responsibilities

Since January 1, 2019, the first two of the 10 days of leave for family responsibilities that can be taken each year are paid if the employee has three months of continuous service. Employees who act as informal caregivers are also covered by these leaves. Employees who don’t have full-time status are paid 1/20 of the salary earned in the four complete pay weeks preceding the day of their absence. They have to notify their employer as soon as possible and take steps to limit the number and duration of these leaves of absence. The employer may ask them for a document attesting to the reasons for their absence if the circumstances so warrant, particularly concerning the length of the absence. If you need further information, feel free to contact your union counsellor.

Relapse following a work accident

The APTS successfully defended an educator working in a youth centre who, after getting hit in the face with a basketball while working, sustained a mild head injury. Because of the difficult conditions surrounding her return to work (understaffing, no other experienced employees, some of the young people going through serious crises, inaction by the manager, etc.), two weeks later the employee experienced extreme fatigue, headaches, difficulties sleeping and problems concentrating. Doctor’s notes from three physicians convinced the tribunal that the employee had suffered a relapse after her head injury and the CNESST will have to compensate her anew.

Applying to the buy back service (RREGOP)

If you’re having trouble completing the form to apply for a buyback of service under the RREGOP pension plan, contact Retraite Québec directly for quick and efficient assistance. Retraite Québec’s client service reps are trained to answer your questions promptly. You can also use the guide that’s available. As well, your employer is supposed to be able to help you fill out the form (#727 and 728). If you still have questions after taking these preliminary steps, we’ll be happy to help you.

Retraite Québec: from 8 am to 5 pm,
Monday to Friday (Québec City region: 418 643-4881
or toll-free: 1 800 463-5533).

Effects of climate change on health 

According to the World Health Organization, 23% of all deaths worldwide are associated with the environment. Climate change has major repercussions on people’s health, and on health care and social services. To raise awareness among health and social services personnel, the Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ) is launching an online training program that will be accessible free of charge from February 18 to April 22, 2019. It includes modules on the links between health and climate:

  • deaths based on traumatic and non-traumatic causes;
  • cardiovascular, respiratory and renal impacts; 
  • neurological, psychosocial and mental health impacts;
  • health effects related to water, food and vector-borne diseases.

To find out more and to register, go to the INSPQ website.

Raising minimum wage 

After analysing the impact of Ontario’s substantial increase in minimum wage in 2018, IRIS (Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques) arrived at the conclusion that this increase had no negative economic impact. On the contrary, the ensuing rise in workers’ purchasing power was remarkable, particularly for women, who often receive lower pay. Researcher Philippe Hurteau estimates that raising minimum wage to $15 an hour would be very positive for the economy in all regions in Québec.