FOR THE UNIONIZED POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS OF QUÉBEC UNIVERSITIES
Polytechnique - U Laval - U de Sherbrooke - U de Montréal - UQAR - Mcgill U
WHAT DOES IT CHANGE TO BE AN EMPLOYEE?
Having been recognized as an employee has enabled you to unionize and, while awaiting your first collective agreement, has given you at least the minimum legal protections available to all workers with employee status. However, two things have not changed: you can still receive a fellowship, and this fellowship is not taxed differently.
Yes, you can still receive a fellowship as an employee
The Labour Code specifies that an employee must receive remuneration, regardless of its form or modalities. As explained by the Commission des relations du travail, the term remuneration includes any income resulting from the performance of work. It is therefore broad enough for a postdoctoral fellowship to be considered as remuneration within the meaning of the Code. (Source: UQAM 2011 decision, p. 17, in French only)
No, your postdoctoral fellowship is not taxed differently
Being an employee within the meaning of the Labour Code is one thing. Being taxed in accordance with federal and provincial income tax legislation is another. In fact, tax law and labour law are based on very different notions. Thus, unless the Canadian and Quebec revenue agencies modify their policies regarding postdoctoral fellowships, these fellowships remain subject to the same tax treatment as before with respect to income tax and contributions.