Domestic workers to be covered by CNESST health and safety protections

As of April 6, the change will apply to those employed to do housework or maintenance, bodyguards, caregivers and personal chauffeurs.

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Domestic workers in Quebec will be covered by the provisions of the province’s occupational health and safety regulations as of April 6.

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The province’s workplace health and safety commission (CNESST) said the change was included in last year’s reform of the legislation.

The amended law defines a domestic worker as someone employed to do housework or maintenance, a bodyguard, a personal chauffeur or someone employed to take charge of or provide care for a person or an animal.

To qualify for the protection, workers must provide paid work for the same person for 420 hours over a 12-month period or for 30 hours a week over seven consecutive weeks. Domestic workers who do not meet those criteria can still receive personal protection but must request it from the CNEEST and pay for it themselves.

Meanwhile, an individual who employs a domestic worker covered by the law must register as an employer with the CNESST. They will have the same obligations as other employers and must pay a contribution. If the worker is not covered by the law, their employer can subscribe for optional protection at their expense de ella, which will cover them in the event of an employee injury.

Quebec Labor Minister Jean Boulet said the automatic coverage will benefit about 18,400 domestic workers, most of whom are women from minority groups.

The CNESST also noted that a domestic worker who believes their rights at work have not been respected and can file a complaint.

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