Doing Construction Work
Act R-20 application
Doing Construction Work

Follow the rules!

Building or extending your home may be the most important project you ever undertake. Two possibilities are available to you:

  • You may use the services of a general contractor, whose expertise will help to simplify your life.
  • You may do the work yourself, in whole or in part.

In both cases, you must obtain a permit from your municipality before starting the project.

It’s a good idea to contact the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) for more information on the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings.

If you use a general contractor

When you entrust your project to a general contractor, you are not responsible for letting the work to all the subcontractors. And in addition to delivering a high-quality house that complies with the Quebec construction code and is covered by a guarantee plan, the contractor will fulfil all the obligations required by the different agencies that govern the Quebec construction industry. You will have to make sure that this contractor holds the licence required by the CCQ and that it is accredited by a guarantee plan for new structures.

If you want to coordinate the work or do it yourself

The construction and extension of residences are subject to the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Workforce Management in the Construction Industry (Act R-20).

If you are doing the work yourself, in whole or in part, you are acting as the principal contractor. You must also fulfil various obligations with the (RBQ), the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), and other agencies.

Act R-20 authorizes the CCQ to enter your site to ensure that your contractors hold the appropriate licences and each employee holds a competency certificate. The CCQ will also ensure that the hours worked are reported and paid according to the collective agreement in force in the residential sector.

Situation letter

Before or during work, you may ask your subcontractors to supply you with a situation letter issued by the CCQ. This letter is intended to assure you that these subcontractors are registered with the CCQ and have met their obligations with regard to their employees as of the date on which the letter was issued.

If you hire workers yourself

If you decide to hire workers directly, you will be considered a construction employer.

In this capacity, you must:

  • Hold an RBQ licence, if necessary
  • Register with the CCQ as an employer and pay the applicable $350 fee
  • Hire workers who hold competency certificates issued by the CCQ
  • Send the CCQ notices of hiring and termination for each person hired, via the CCQ’s online services  
  • Respect the working conditions established by the collective agreement in force in the residential sector
  • Send the CCQ a detailed monthly report of hours worked and salaries paid
  • Contribute to the industry’s different funds
  • Fulfil all obligations incumbent upon an employer with the different government departments and agencies
  • Comply with the standards for workplace health and safety
  • Fulfil obligations set out by the CNESST if there is an accident on your construction site

If you do not comply with your obligations to the CCQ, you are risking a lawsuit that could involve paying a fine. If you use noncompliant contractors or workers, the CCQ may suspend your construction project if you do not rectify the situation.

If you get a helping hand from friends or family

If you are counting on friends or family members to help you build or extend your home, you must nevertheless follow the rules. Volunteer workers are permitted for the construction or extension of a residence if the work is done for personal purposes and not for profit. To find out if you can get help from volunteers on your site, visit the Volunteer work section.

Contact the CCQ

For more information on the application of Act R-20 to construction or extension of a residence, contact us.

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