Quebec construction holiday payout: $553 million
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Record level of construction activity leads to record amount of holiday pay for workers in the province of Quebec.
The Commission de la construction du Quebec (CCQ) has sent out almost 182,000 vacation cheques to construction workers in that province in advance of the annual construction holiday, amounting to a total of more than $553 million.
As set out in the collective agreements in that province, employers pay benefits representing 13 per cent of worker salaries into the CCQ for sick leave, paid statutory holidays and vacations. Thanks to a considerable recovery of activity on construction sites in 2021, this year’s payouts hit a record total, rising 10 per cent over last year’s $503 million that was paid out.
In Quebec, the number of hours worked in the construction industry in 2021 increased by 21 per cent over 2020, reaching 196.2 million hours. That is the highest volume of activity ever recorded, outpacing the peak of 177 million hours reached in 2019.
This year’s two-weeks construction holiday officially begins on Sunday, July 24, and is obligatory for all of the construction industry, in all sectors aside from a few exclusions outlined in the collective agreements, such as work planned in the civil engineering and roadwork sector, as well as emergency work, repairs, maintenance, renovations and modifications.
In total, about 80 per cent of the provincial construction workforce will be on vacation during these two weeks. In 2021, the construction industry comprised more than 190,000 employees and just over 26,500 employers in Quebec.