Labor shortages are mandatory, with 11-year-olds already working in Quebec

What would you like to take? This is Amanda, 11, a small blonde with bright blue eyes, who asked this question. His head barely crossed the counter.

Amanda Hall is the short story of the Guiul Canteen at La Grande in Saint-Alfons-de-Granby. Behind him, the fryers are working at full speed. Amanda works 12 to 18 hours a week in the kitchen. Here, about a quarter of the 32 employees are between the ages of 11 and 15.

At the Guiul Canteen in La Grande, Saint-Alfons-de-Granber, seven of the 32 employees are between the ages of 11 and 15.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Alexis Gacon

Initially, Amanda Boss, Pascal Lamarche, was not sure if he would be able to hire such young employees. : \”As-tu le droit?\” J’ai eu un doute. […] Mon comptable m’a envoyé l’information de la CNESST: il n’y a pas d’âge!”,”text”:”Des gens m’avaient dit: \”As-tu le droit?\” J’ai eu un doute. […] Mon comptable m’a envoyé l’information de la CNESST: il n’y a pas d’âge!”}}”>People said to me: “What rights do you have?” I had doubts. […] My accountant sent me the information CNESST : No age!

Quebec, unlike most Canadian provinces, has no minimum age for work. In British Columbia, for example, that age dropped from 12 to 16 last year But here, the employer only needs to request written parental approval if the young person he wants to hire is under 14 years of age. However, there are several conversations we’ve had that employers don’t always ask for it.

uneadulte “,”text”:”Elle a été gérée commeuneadulte “}}”>He was treated like an adult

In the restaurant kitchen, Amanda seems to be immune to stress. rushs. Souvent, le midi ou à l’heure du souper, on a beaucoup de commandes […]. J’aime l’ambiance.”,”text”:”Je sais ce que c’est que les rushs. Souvent, le midi ou à l’heure du souper, on a beaucoup de commandes […]. J’aime l’ambiance.”}}”>I know what it is Runs away. Often, during lunch or dinner, we have lots of orders […]. I like the environment. Why did he start at such a young age? Because I like to work and I thought it was a good place.

The young team sticks together and seems to be working in a good mood. You need it, because the tasks are not easy and the speed is fast. The hardest thing is to withstand the heat and fry the blanche. If you can arrange a wash one afternoon a week, you will be able to do everything in the canteen, because the baskets are heavy and it is hot.Pascal Lamarche explains.

At the restaurant, Amanda is an employee like the others, her boss says. heures, car je ne connais pas encore sa capacité à travailler. Ses parents me disent qu’elle serait capable de faire des journées pleines. On analyse ses points forts, ses points faibles, l’endurance qu’elle va avoir. […] Tant qu’elle veut travailler, on le fait!”,”text”:”Pour l’instant, elle fait des journées de sixheures, car je ne connais pas encore sa capacité à travailler. Ses parents me disent qu’elle serait capable de faire des journées pleines. On analyse ses points forts, ses points faibles, l’endurance qu’elle va avoir. […] Tant qu’elle veut travailler, on le fait!”}}”>At the moment, he works six hours, because I still don’t know his ability to work. Her parents tell me she can work all day. We analyze its strengths, its weaknesses, its tolerances. […] As long as he wants to work, we do it!

Even if she was very young, Amanda did not find a structure that matched her age, the owner explained. The same observation with Marianne, who started serving at the age of 12 at a restaurant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu last year: : \”Vas-y!\””,”text”:”On m’a montré les bases et on m’a dit: \”Vas-y!\””}}”>I was shown the basics and told, “Go for it!”

He was the one who told me to work, explained his father Sylvain. She has good grades, we know she loves to learn. If the grade suffers, he stops. But even there they were not left out. He acknowledges his joy in gaining autonomy and learning new things. She has also learned to ignore comments from some clients who do not hesitate to comment on her youthful appearance or height. There is a customer who told me that the table was too much for me!

This experience seems to be beneficial for him, even if the pressure can overcome him, his father said, this time when he threw a glass tray on the floor. : \”Si tu pleures trop, tu t’en retournes à la maison!\” Elle a été gérée comme une adulte, puis on l’a vue, elle a bien répondu, elle a essuyé ses larmes et […] elle y est retournée.”,”text”:”Elle a pleuré. Le patron lui a dit: \”Si tu pleures trop, tu t’en retournes à la maison!\” Elle a été gérée comme une adulte, puis on l’a vue, elle a bien répondu, elle a essuyé ses larmes et […] elle y est retournée.”}}”>She is crying. The boss told her, “If you cry too much, you’ll go home!” He was handled like an adult, then we saw him, he responded well, he wiped away his tears and […] He went back

I can’t move forward without young people

In his restaurant, Pascal Lamarche is exposed Strong potential This possibility from Amanda fits in with a context: labor shortages. Currently, unemployment in Quebec is below 4%. Without young people, I am not able to move forward, because now it is difficult to find adults who want to work on the weekends.Restaurant owner explained.

A smiling woman with gray hair.

Roxane Larouche, UFCW National Representative, Quebec Chapter

Photo: Radio-Canada / Alexis Gacon

Roxanne Laroche, national representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada), understands that age is no longer an issue when it comes to hiring in the food sector. ans. Le représentant de service a été très surpris.”,”text”:”Notre plus jeune membre a 11ans. Le représentant de service a été très surpris.”}}”>Our youngest member is 11 years old. The service representative was very surprised.

He noticed that more and more young people were working in the province’s grocery stores. This is a trend that seems to be confirmed by the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), which found that the number of workplace injuries by people under the age of 16 more than doubled. 85 to 203 between 2018 and 2021.

We see more young people, so the risk of injury exists and it creates many other challenges. It’s a whole new reality. We thought we had the text of the convention which could respond to all sorts of situations, but it was not clear. […] How to supervise these young people? We need to find a solution now, because the problem is happening now! […] We are in an unprecedented situation. A

A quote from Roxane Larouche, National Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers Union

However, it is difficult to measure the number of employees aged 14 or under. The Quebec Ministry of Labor does not count these employees. In fact, statistics start counting at the age of 15 based on Canadian data.

According to the 2016-2017 Quebec Survey on High School Youth Health, 22% of high school youth had an employer who paid them. This ratio increased from 6% in the first year of secondary school to 47% in the fifth year of secondary school.

D?”,”text”:”Est-ce que tu penses que l’école, ça va être son plan A ouD?”}}”>Do you think the school is going to be its plan A or D?

Roxane Larouche is concerned about the risk of dropping out when she sees competition from companies that are snatching the services of very young people, especially outside of Montreal.

An employer who hired a young man about 12 or 13 years old stole him from a sawmill that hired him for 26 an hour to sweep. […] The question we ask ourselves is: have we paved the way for the dropout? […] These questions must be analyzed, because it is a social problem. A

A quote from Roxane Larouche, National Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Mrs. Larauche noted that some parents send their children to work in grocery stores One day camp Who didn’t Nothing costs.

At Montreal’s Amos School, teacher Marie-Betty Desroiles asks her students, aged 16 to 20, about the young man’s work. Many entered the labor market in their teens.

ans […], est-ce que tu penses que l’école, ça va être son plan A ou D ?”,”text”:”Le jeune qui commence à travailler à 11ans […], est-ce que tu penses que l’école, ça va être son plan A ou D ?”}}”>That young man started working at the age of 11 […]Do you think the school is going to be its plan A or D? A student shouts: His plan C!

Some of those who listen to her work at night and come to class without sleeping, such as Acetan, 19, wearing a braid. He has been working for six years now.

Nowadays, she finishes her shift at a convenience store at 7am and then walks to school half an hour later. He did not start work by choice; She did it to help her mother. enfants, elle est toute seule. Il y a des choses à acheter, mais elle n’a pas assez [d’argent].”,”text”:”On est quatreenfants, elle est toute seule. Il y a des choses à acheter, mais elle n’a pas assez [d’argent].”}}”>We are four children, she is alone. There are things to buy, but he doesn’t have enough [d’argent].

In Quebec, until the age of 16, employers must ensure that school arrives before work. They cannot tell their employees to miss school work and make sure that young people can stay home from 11pm to 6am with some exceptions (especially childcare).

Acetan, however, has not felt much understanding from his various bosses since he started working. Employers will manipulate you. They will make you feel comfortable. There was not a day that my phone did not ring. They will say “we love you” just to make you work longer hours.

Jemima, another student at Amos School, has worked since she was 14 and regrets the lack of consideration from the managers of the fast food establishments where she was employed. fast food, les boss ne sont pas compréhensifs. Moi, quand je disais que je ne pouvais pas rentrer au travail et que je devais étudier, ils me coupaient tous mes autres quarts. Je n’avais pas de quarts la semaine suivante.”,”text”:”Tout ce qui est fast food, les boss ne sont pas compréhensifs. Moi, quand je disais que je ne pouvais pas rentrer au travail et que je devais étudier, ils me coupaient tous mes autres quarts. Je n’avais pas de quarts la semaine suivante.”}}”>Anything Fast foodThem Boss Not widespread. I, when I said I can’t go back to work and I have to study, they stopped all my other shifts. I had no shifts the following week.

Children cannot be blamed for their own well-being

According to Sarah Denen, a lawyer specializing in children’s rights, it is time to review the copy in the case of Quebec. : c’est très vague. Et ça, c’est une chose à laquelle il faut s’attaquer.”,”text”:”Il doit y avoir place à une réforme. Là, en ce moment, l’état du droit actuel, c’est qu’on doit déléguer la responsabilité de la protection au bon jugement de l’employeur et de l’enfant lui-même. […] Dans la loi, il est écrit qu’il ne doit pas avoir un travail disproportionné qui nuise à son développement: c’est très vague. Et ça, c’est une chose à laquelle il faut s’attaquer.”}}”>There must be room for reform. There, at the moment, the status of the current law is that the responsibility for protection must be placed on the good judgment of the employer and the child himself. […] It is written in the law that he should not do any inconsistent work which harms his development; It is very vague. And that’s something that needs to be addressed.

Quebec is bound by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Canada in 1991. It stipulates that a minimum age must be set for the job (New window). According to Sarah Denen, Quebec is lagging behind on this issue.

We are in a system designed for adults and have specific needs for the baby: we must protect the baby’s specific development. What will happen in his interest? In the current context, shouldn’t economic necessity take precedence over child protection? […] Children cannot be blamed for their own well-being. […] They can’t stand their employers. The younger you are, the harder it is. A

A quote from Sarah Denen, a lawyer specializing in children’s rights

According to the 2016-2017 Quebec Secondary School Youth Health Survey (New window)Students who worked during the school year were more likely to have a relatively high level of emotional distress than those who worked 11 to 15 hours or 16 hours or more per week and those who worked less than 11 hours per week. In their jobs (34% and 37% vs. 29%).

The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity declined our interview request. In an email, the ministry communicates that Quebec’s labor law already regulates the work of adolescents.

The report will be presented at the event on Sunday 29 May Sunday desalts At ICI Premier.

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