Student trainees: your workplace rights and protection

  • August 30, 2022
  • Industrial accident, Work
Un enseignant montre à un stagiaire comment utiliser une machine

The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) protects workers’ rights. Workplace trainees also have the right to this protection.

Work or training conditions

The labour standards and legislation in force apply to trainees. There are a few exceptions, notably provisions about salary.

Since August 24, 2022, trainees have new rights. From now on:

Health and safety: as a trainee, are you covered?

The CNESST’s insurance plan covers most trainee students. This coverage protects you in the event of a one-time work accident, a workplace injury sustained over a long period, or an occupational disease. 

Eligibility requirements vary depending on whether or not you are getting paid. Here are the key points.

Unpaid practicum or job shadowing

Your practicum must be carried out under the responsibility of a school service centre, school board or Québec educational institution. If this applies, and the practicum occurs:

Paid practicum

If your paid practicum is in Québec, you are covered.

Is your paid practicum outside Québec? You are covered if you meet these two requirements:

  1. You are a Québec resident.
  2. The company where you are doing your practicum has an establishment in Québec.

Information and recourse

Want to know more about your rights or the protection available to you? See the CNESST website.

Dissatisfied with the CNESST’s services? Contact the Québec Ombudsman. We will handle your complaint quickly, free of charge and with complete confidentiality.

To find out more about our services, see this video.

Also see: Temporarily interrupted studies and student loans: when does repayment start?