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Canada
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Vacation pay tops $447 million as Quebec construction holiday approaches

The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) says it has sent out nearly 159,000 cheques totalling $447 million in vacation pay as the province’s two-week construction holiday is set to begin on Sunday.

The amount represents an increase of six per cent over last year’s vacation payout by the CCQ of $421 million. The commission says the increase is largely due to a spike in construction activity over the past year.

Construction sector employers in the province make monthly payments to the CCQ to cover vacation and other holiday absences in accordance with union contracts. The amounts represent 13 per cent of a construction worker’s weekly salary.

This year the construction holiday officially begins on Sunday and ends Aug. 3 and will see about 80 per cent of the province’s construction workforce off the job.

In 2018, the Quebec construction industry counted more than 165,000 workers and more than 25,000 employers.

The vacation time is obligatory in all sectors of the construction industry, however there are exclusions, including most public infrastructure and road work as well as emergency maintenance, repair and renovation.

The CCQ notes that in 2018, the number of hours worked in the industry increased by 10 per cent compared with 2017, a statistical spike which, apart from a record-breaking increase in 2012, has not been seen since 2004.

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