A 13-year-old girl is demanding an explanation from the Quebec government after learning she could lose her job because of Bill 19.
“Why should I lose my job? We’re already understaffed! At my job, my colleagues are on the juice. They’re relieved to see me come in so I can take on small tasks,” protests Emma Valiquette from her 13-year-old height.
According to him, youths are essential for smooth running of shifts as they support other employees.
“If there are no more young people, other staff will have to do the work we were doing. They will be more,” explains the teenager.
For the past year, the teenager has been helping prepare lunch every Sunday at Café de la Brulerie in Granby. For four hours, she takes care of buttering the “toasts” and helping the maids.
“My job gives me pocket money, yes, but it also allows me to get away from school and homework. It also allows me to see my friends,” he explains.
Every week, Emma looks forward to the weekend. However, this Sunday is bittersweet. Soon, Emma will lose her job. Bill 19, passed in Quebec on Thursday afternoon, sets the minimum age to work in Quebec at 14.
The need for autonomy
For Emma, working allows her more freedom, which all young people dream of. She believes she has learned a lot by leaving home and working with her bosses and colleagues.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do this summer! I’m too old for day camp, I don’t want to go. Even if I want to work, I’ll have to stay home,” she laments.
Her mother, Melanie Lemaire, has been at the forefront of Emma’s development since she was hired. Over the course of a year, she has seen her daughter gain confidence and develop new skills.
“Emma, I felt like I was mothering him a lot because he was my youngest. By working, even if it was only four hours a week, she really gained autonomy and it valued her,” notes the mother of the family.
Melanie Lemaire admits that some days are harder than others for Emma, who sometimes experiences high-stress situations at work.
“I always go there with her and we talk about it. I think it’s a great way to meet other people, respect authority and be polite. She develops a lot of skills,” she says.
[Encadré projet de loi 19]
– It sets 14 as the minimum age to work in Quebec.
– It prohibits 14- to 16-year-olds from working more than 17 hours per week during the school year, excluding holidays.
– Once the bill is approved, employers will have 30 days to fire employees aged 13 and under.
– Descriptions apply. (link article that talks about it)
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