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Everything to Know About Quebec's Construction Holiday

familly in vacation
familly in vacation

Everything to Know About Quebec's Construction Holiday

Information and news on the construction sectorEverything to Know About Quebec's Construction Holiday

Quebec’s annual construction holiday is highly anticipated by most local workers. Said yearly timeframe allows thousands of construction industry professionals to enjoy some much-deserved time off. It’s also an opportunity for families to gather and soak up the summer sun together. Keep reading for more information about this year’s construction holiday calendar.

Why Is There a Construction Holiday in Quebec?

contractor on a roof 

Source : Canva

Said tradition of yearly construction industry summer holidays dates back to 1971. It allows roughly 120,000 workers to take time off, mid-summer. The dates are predetermined during collective agreement negotiations between management and union party organizations. 

Are you familiar with the origins of this holiday? Quebec’s construction holiday was, in fact, instated for several historical reasons:

Modernization and Standardization 

Before 1971, every region across the province of Quebec had a unique holiday management system for construction workers. Back then, holiday calendars and conditions varied from one region to another, which became increasingly difficult to manage, especially when workers accepted contracts with other employers. 

In the 1970s, labour standards in the construction industry were modernized, most notably on account of the rise of trade unions. Said new structure made way for several employer-employee struggles regarding paid time off. To standardize the situation, the government issued a decree in 1970 scheduling two weeks of mandatory holiday for all construction workers. 

The 1970 Government Decree

The “construction holiday” was officially instated in Quebec on account of said 1970 decree. Beforehand, the dates were negotiated between employers and employees, but the decree made standardizing the dates and labour standards possible throughout the entire industry.

The 1970 decree was instated during the summer of 1971, marking the first two-week summer vacation for all Quebec-based construction workers.

While the exact dates may have varied over time, this annual mandatory holiday period has turned into a well-anchored tradition in Quebec’s construction industry since it was first instated over 50 years ago.

When are the 2024-2025 construction holidays?

construction contractor speaking on site 

Source : Canva

When's the Summer 2024 2-Week Construction Holiday Beginning in Quebec?

This year, Quebec’s construction holiday is scheduled from July 21 to August 3, inclusively. During said period, all construction worksites will be required to shut down all operations for two full weeks. 

2025 Annual Winter Vacation

In addition to a two-week summer break, the construction industry also plans for other mandatory days off during Christmastime. For the 2024-2025 period, all worksites will be required to halt all activities from December 22, 2024, through to January 4, 2024, inclusively. 

Paid Statutory Holidays

Besides the two aforementioned mandatory holidays, construction workers also reap the benefits of several paid public holidays throughout the year, such as Good Friday (March 29, 2024), Canada Day (July 1, 2024), Labour Day (September 2, 2024), and Thanksgiving (October 14, 2024). 

Possible Exceptions

While worksites are mandated to shut down during construction holidays, there are planned exceptions, allowing urgent construction work, maintenance, or small-scale residential construction to carry on. In such cases, individual agreements are made between workers and employers. 

How to Gear Up for the Holidays

construction contractor speaking on site 

Source : Canva

Even though the holiday calendar is set ahead of time, employers and employees still have to financially, and logistically, prepare for it. 

On the employer’s side:

  • Mandatory income indemnities: Employers make monthly income replacement payments to the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) for annual vacation time, which represents 13% of an employee’s salary (6% vacation time; 5.5% for paid statutory holidays; and 1.5% for sick days).

  • Planning: Aside from some time-pressed construction or maintenance work that may carry on based on unique agreements, one must plan worksite-wide shutdowns during those two weeks. Project timelines must be adapted accordingly, ensuring the work is up to speed when all is to be halted.

As for the workers…

A lot of people take advantage of those two weeks to go on vacation with their families or travel during this period of peak tourism in Quebec. 

Workers receive their accrued paid time off (vacation allowance) from the CCQ during the last eight days of June (for the previous July-December period) and at the end of November (for January to June of the same year).

This money isn’t considered part of a worker’s salary, but rather an allowance, which permits them to take some time off without affecting their income. And, since they're technically without work as soon as construction worksites halt all operations, they automatically become eligible for employment insurance benefits. 


What Day Is St. Jean Baptiste Scheduled For?

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, like every year, is on June 24th.

How Long Is Construction Holiday in Quebec?

Construction Holiday is a two-week period at the end of July/beginning of August.

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Last modified 2024-06-28

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