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COVID-19: Quebec Announces New Program to Encourage Employee Training

April 8, 2020

On April 6, 2020, Quebec’s ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale announced the implementation of a concerted action program for job retention, the Programme d'actions concertées pour le maintien en emploi (PACME), in partnership with the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail.

The PACME’s goal is to provide financial assistance to businesses wishing to take advantage of the current economic downturn to increase their workforce’s skillset, thereby fostering economic recovery. It also aims to support businesses that have had to make changes to their usual activities to continue operating during this crisis.

The PACME will be available to all businesses whose operations have decreased, increased or diversified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses will be able to benefit from financial assistance of up to 100 per cent of eligible expenses for human resource management activities or the development of workers' skills. The PACME may be combined with other financial assistance measures announced by the federal government or the Government of Quebec. It should be noted that the program also includes a component applicable to collective promoters, such as organizations whose actions affect several businesses and individuals in employment, including groups of professionals, employers or workers, as well as social economy enterprises and non-profit organizations.

Eligible training activities under the PACME include:

  • Basic employee training

  • Francization

  • E-skills training

  • Continuing education related to the business’s operations, whether directly related or not to the position held by the employee receiving such training

  • Training recommended by professional bodies

  • Training made necessary with a view to the resumption of the business’s operations

  • Training related to a strategy to adjust or modify business activities in the context of economic uncertainty stemming from COVID-19 that makes it possible for the business to maintain or diversify its operations, such as health, teleworking, etc.

  • Training for worker requalification

In addition, the following human resource management activities will be eligible for government financial assistance:

  • Assessment of human resources activities and, where appropriate, other activities

  • Consulting mandates with respect to human resources management; for example, organizational communication, teleworking policies, employee engagement, workforce planning for business continuity and recovery, and business diversification support

  • Coaching and management skill development

Given the current circumstances, the Government of Quebec strongly recommends that employee training be given remotely or online to comply with social distancing requirements recommended by public health authorities.

To apply to the PACME, businesses must contact an Entreprises Québec business adviser in their region. Applications may be retroactive to March 15, 2020. The program will be available until September 30, 2020, or until the allocated budget of C$100-million runs out.

For more information on the PACME and eligible expenses under this programme, please visit the Government of Quebec's website (available in French only) or contact a member of our Employment & Labour group.

For further information, please contact:

Natalie Bussière                        514-982-4080
Catherine Gagné                       514-982-4085

or any other member of our Employment & Labour group.

Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre to learn more about how COVID-19 may impact your business.