1681917396 Young people up to the age of 14 seven times

Young people up to the age of 14: seven times more accidents at work than five years ago

The number of accidents at work among young people under the age of 14 has skyrocketed. It’s seven times more than in 2017, prompting Minister Jean Boulet to say it’s important to better regulate the position of young people in the workplace.

• Also read: Young people aged 12 to 16: at work to pay their expenses

• Also read: Children on the labor market: According to the PLQ, there is an “urge to act”.

According to the latest figures from CNESST, workplace injuries among Quebec youth are continuing to rise.

In 2022 alone, no fewer than 74 work injury claims were accepted by children under the age of 14, a 640% increase in five years.

If we include young people aged 15 and 16, we reach 501 accidents at work in a single year, 80% more than in 2017.

Most incidents are reported in the retail, accommodation and hospitality sectors.

“These figures confirm the importance of better monitoring of child labour,” said the Minister of Labor when the parliamentary committee on the bill he had introduced opened on Tuesday.

This legislation stipulates that the minimum working age in Quebec is 14 and that young people aged 16 and under are not allowed to work more than 17 hours a week during the school year. There are no exceptions for gastronomy and retail. The Minister followed the recommendations of the Labor and Labor Advisory Committee, which represents employers and trade unions.

labor shortage

The shortage of staff is obviously not unrelated to the increasing presence of young people in the labor market and ultimately the increase in accidents among them. In addition, a Léger survey shows that three out of ten teenagers are able to juggle work and study.

Young people up to the age of 14 seven times

Photo Stevens LeBlanc

John Boulett
Minister of Labour

“The pressure on employers is great, the number of young people who meet the needs of employers is increasing quite rapidly,” stresses Jean Boulet in an interview. Young people come with less experience, need more training, need more guidance, and often face organizational and physical constraints such as overly heavy loads, repetitive movements, irregular schedules.

On the eve of the consultations, the minister stressed that his bill could be improved and “that the door is not completely closed to anything”. In the same breath he adds that he is primarily guided by the safety of young people and their educational success. “Educational success is something fundamental to us,” he says.

Relaxation requested

Sharing Jean Boulet’s concerns, the President of the Retail Council of Canada is calling for some relaxation. “We demand that young people under the age of 14 be allowed to work in the summer [les vacances] Winter, spring break week,” specifies Michelle Rochette, who will address MPs on Tuesday.

While 15- and 16-year-olds can work more outside of the school calendar, retailers also want to be able to keep them occupied longer during the holidays.

However, Mr. Rochette would like to remind the government that he is currently addressing the side effects of Quebec’s labor shortage. “You definitely shouldn’t lose [vue] that we must first continue to work hard on labor shortages, at least with as much effort as we currently ‘work’ to remedy the effects of labor shortages.


14 and younger: 74

By Sector:

  • Retail Store: 40.5%
  • Accommodation and catering: 29.7%

16 and under: 501

By Sector:

  • Retail Store: 29.3%
  • Accommodation and catering: 24.6%


14 and younger: 10

16 and under: 278

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