Is employee training mandatory in Quebec?

Your company’s growth is closely linked to the development of your employees’ skills and qualifications. In some cases, employee training is also an obligation under the Act to promote workforce skills development and recognition (the “1% law”), which aims to build a more qualified workforce, now and for the future. The Act requires employers whose payroll exceeds $2 million to invest at least 1% of that payroll in employee training.

If you are an employer with a payroll of more than $2 million, you must:

  • Allot at least 1% of your payroll to employee training
  • Declare these expenditures to Revenu Québec

Eligible training

All training activities, regardless of the method used, must improve employee skills. To be eligible, the training must:

  • Follow a plan with specific objectives
  • Be provided by a recognized educational institution, a professional order, an instructor, a training organization or an accredited training service
  • Be part of a company training plan
  • Aim to improve employee skills
Training can be provided
  • In a classroom
  • On the job
  • As part of a symposium, convention or seminar
  • Online in a virtual classroom
Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses are those incurred by your company for its employees or trainees. No prior authorization is required. If your company can’t afford these expenses or can’t reach the minimum amount, it can invest in training in other ways. For more information, visit the page on eligible training expenses [in French only].

Health and safety training

Health and safety training generally aims to inform and equip workers to do their jobs safely. Since the aim is not to improve employee qualifications and skills, such training is not usually eligible. For example, training on how to use personal protective equipment would not be eligible.

However, if the training gives employees the skills needed to perform their jobs, it is eligible. For instance, if an employee’s job requires operating a forklift, the requisite training will cover safety. The health and safety aspect would be inseparable from the acquisition of job-related knowledge.

For further information, see the guide to interpreting the Act [in French only].

Here are some health and safety trainings offered by the CNESST:

What expenditures can be counted in the 1%?

Many expenditures can be taken into account to reach the required investment level. They can be grouped into 3 main categories.

N.B.: The information in this section is not exhaustive; other expenses may be eligible under the Act and according to the eligible training expenditures guide [in French only].

1. Salaries

According to section 57 of the Act respecting labour standards (ARLS), an employee is deemed to be at work during travel required by the employer and during any trial period or training required by the employer. The following salaries can be included in the total:

  • Salary of employee taking training
  • Salary of employee giving training
  • Trainee’s salary
  • Salary of employee supervising a trainee
  • Salary of employee preparing a training plan, session, or materials
  • If an employee replaces the person taking the training, the portion of the replacement’s salary exceeding the salary of the person being replaced

In addition, the employer portion of payroll taxes (employment insurance, QPIP, QPP, CNESST) can be added to the hourly rate.

2. Training costs

Training costs include:

  • Instructor’s fees
  • Room rental
  • Equipment purchases for training
  • Registration fees
  • Employee’s travel costs to attend the training, as well as meals and accommodation where applicable

3. Expenditures in the year prior to becoming subject to the 1% law

If your payroll is close to $2 million, it could be worthwhile to record your training expenditures as if you were subject to the Act. Eligible expenditures incurred in the preceding year may be carried forward to the year in which your company comes under the 1% law. It’s a great way to start the year!

What information do I need to collect to ensure that I meet my obligations?

You need to be able to justify and provide supporting documents for every expenditure you record. 

For salaries, the supporting documents will be proof of the activity’s duration and your payroll register showing the employee’s hourly rate.

For other expenses, simply keep receipts and proof of travel reimbursement.

You must also be able to show that the activity took place, was successfully completed, and meets the fundamental objective of the Act. To do this, you’ll need to keep the following documents:

  • Records of training participation (for in-house training)
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Training plan or detailed training content

You don’t have to submit these to anyone, but you must have them in case of an audit. 

What if I don’t manage to invest enough?

If you don’t manage to invest enough, you must pay the difference to the Workforce Skills Development and Recognition Fund. 

What if I exceed the required amount?

If you invest more than the required amount in a given year, you can carry the surplus forward to the following year.

Resources for employee development

1. VUBIZ: Learn when you want, where you want

CFIB and VUBIZ have teamed up to offer you 4 certificate programs designed for small businesses and offered at a discounted price for CFIB members.

Certificate programs:

  • Management
  • Human resources
  • Health and safety
  • Sales and marketing

You’ll also have access to an impressive, wide-ranging library of online courses available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—all you need is Internet access.

Free online courses:

  • Starting up your business
  • Managing your people
  • Health and safety
  • Managing customer relations
  • Growing your business
  • Compliance

2. Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation

Some government departments, including the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, offer free training to promote best practices and foster the growth of small business in Quebec.

Visit the Ministère’s training and development page [in French only] to see the courses available and find management tools for business owners and strategic workers.


At, you can see the full range of corporate training programs offered by all the CEGEPs in Quebec. With the click of a button, you can contact 48 institutions. Expect a quick reply!

What’s on the menu at

  • Pre-university and technical programs – gain the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a university education or enter the profession of your choice.
  • Continuing education – opens doors to help you realize your ambitions and reach new heights in your career.
  • Corporate training – take your business to the next level: discover the training programs and wide range of complementary services available through CEGEPs.
  • RAC process – transform your skills and experience into a diploma or attestation of college studies through the Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC), a simple, personalized, and self-paced process.

4. Investing in Training

Investing in training [in French only] is an initiative of the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail designed to promote training and skills development in the workforce. 

Here are a few examples:

5. Emploi-Québec

Emploi-Québec offers a wide range of solutions to help you develop your employees’ skills.

If you have questions about mandatory training, contact us to speak to one of our Advisors.