Are you working as a camp counsellor this summer? Your rights as an employee might be quite different from the rights of your friends who work in coffee shops or offices.
The law sets out the minimum working conditions of employees. But there are exceptions for students who work at summer camps. In this article, "summer camp" refers to a sleep-away camp. It's sometimes called a "vacation camp."
Important! If you work at a camp where the children and counsellors go home at night, then it's a "day camp," and different rules might apply. To learn whether this is your case, contact the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).
If you work at a summer camp that operates to make a profit, then you must be paid at least minimum wage.
If you work at a non-profit summer camp, your employer is allowed to pay you less than minimum wage. Of course, nothing prevents your employer from paying you more!
To find out whether or not your summer camp is a non-profit one, ask your employer.
The law says that a normal workweek is 40 hours. For most jobs, employers have to pay "time and a half" (50% more than the regular hourly pay) for overtime hours.
But this rule doesn't apply to summer camps. Your employer is allowed to pay you the same for overtime as for your regular hours, even if you work more than 40 hours in a week.
Vacation and Public Holidays
The law also says that employees are entitled to an annual vacation. But again, this rule doesn't apply if you work at a summer camp.
This means your employer doesn't have to give you a paid vacation or the 4% vacation pay when your job is over.
However, you are allowed to have some public holidays off.
Getting Paid for Training
No matter what type of summer camp you work at, you're entitled to be paid for the time your employer asks you to spend in training.
Your employer can't ask you to work on a trial basis without pay.
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.