Salary, Commissions and Tips

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When you work, it's usually to earn some money. What rules apply to money you are paid?


Minimum Wage

In most situations, you have the right to be paid at least the minimum wage. If your employer pays you more, then good for you!

In Quebec, the government sets the minimum wage. It is a legal obligation for your employer to pay you at least the minimum wage. Minimum wage is currently $12.50 per hour.

But some jobs have a different minimum wage.


Minimum Wage Different for Some Jobs

For some types of jobs, the law lets your employer pay you less than minimum wage. Here are some examples:

  • babysitting
  • work as a student in a career orientation program or internship organized by your school
  • if you are an athlete who must attend a school program to stay on a sports team
  • work for a social or community non-profit organization
  • if you are a trainee in a vocational training program recognized by law

Also, if you get tips at work, the minimum wage is different from the general minimum wage.


Employees Who Get Tips

If you have an opportunity to earn tips as you work, then the minimum wage is $10.05 per hour.

You are considered an "employee who receives tips" if you usually receive get tips and you work in places like these:

  • a restaurant where customers eat on site or that has a delivery counter
  • an place that offers tourists a place to stay, such as a hotel, inn or campground  
  • a place where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises, such as a bar or bistro

But you are not automatically considered an "employee who receives tips? if you work in a restaurant where there is no table service, that is, where customers order at a counter and pay before they eat. This is the case in many fast food chains or coffee shops, even if a few generous customers give you their spare change.

If you are an employee who receives tips, your tips are considered extra, so they are not included in the salary you agree on with your employer.

Any tips you receive belong to you alone. Your employer cannot force you to share them with your co-workers. But nothing stops you from sharing them with your co-workers, as long as everyone agrees.  


Being Paid on Commission

For some jobs, you are paid based completely on commission. This means that you are paid a percentage of what you sell.


Picking Strawberries and Raspberries

If your job is to pick strawberries or raspberries, your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage.

However, your salary will be based on how much you pick:

  1. For raspberries: $3.71 / kilogram
  2. For strawberries: $0.99 / kilogram


Payday: When You Get Your Salary

Most employers have to pay you on a regular basis, and the time between paydays cannot be more than 16 days.

If you start a new job, your employer will pay you within the first month following your first day of work.

If your usual payday falls on a holiday, you will be paid the day before.

You can be paid

  • in cash,
  • by cheque, or  
  • by transfer to your bank account.

You will receive a pay sheet along with your pay so you can make sure you have received the correct amount.

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.