Quebec is quite different from the rest of the country. When you enter the province it is like going on vacation in Europe. For people that immigrated to Canada from Western Europe, it feels like going from Germany or Holland to France.

Doing business has its own characteristics in the province of Quebec. The security industry is different from the perspective that there is a collective agreement set for the industry called the Parity Committee (also known as the Decree). It is a collective agreement negotiated by a board of directors between the employers’ representatives (Provincial Association) and the employees (Security Guards Union). This agreement deals with issues such as monetary matters, wages, holidays and leaves, vacations, overtime, premiums received for extra duties or certain inconveniences, etc. It is applicable to all security guards and companies operating in Quebec, even if a company is not unionized. It protects and ensures that wages and working conditions of the employees are not a factor of competition between the employers. The pay rate is currently at $16.14 and increases $0.45 every year, quite a bit higher than the minimum wage at $10.55. This makes it an attractive field to work in for many people with limited education. It should create a level playing field for most companies in the province as the difference between pay rate and bill rate purely reflects the payroll burden, extra costs and the margin.

Unfortunately some companies seem to have found ways to get around the regulations. They will hire guards as contractors and pay them a lower salary, which gives the company the opportunity to get very aggressive with the bidding process for contracts. Having said that, many clients will not entertain this behaviour and insist the security provider follows the Decree. When this happens, the relatively healthy mandated minimum pay rates support the selection of good professional guards.

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