Dancers: Status and CNESST protection
The dancer: A worker within the meaning of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases
Artists who work in a bargaining sector covered by an artists’ association (Union des artistes, Guilde des musiciens et des musiciennes du Québec, Canadian Actors Equity Association, Alliance of Canadian Television and Radio Artists) have worker status according to the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases. This status is automatically granted to dancers who are members or non-members of these associations, except when they provide services through a corporation. Attention! A dancer, who is considered self-employed under the Income Tax Act does not have the same status under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
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Note 296 – Procedure for determining the status of a natural person for purposes of the contribution (in FR), see article 6: Le statut des artistes (CNESST – in FR)
All dancers, without exception, are protected by the Occupational Health and Safety Act
All dancers who live in Quebec and self-employed or salaried employees who work for an employer established in Quebec are automatically covered by the CNESST when they participate in rehearsals or perform in a show in Quebec or outside Quebec. A contract stipulating that a dancer is not protected by the CNESST contravenes this law. No employer can ask a dancer to accept such a clause in an employment contract.
When a dancer suffers an accident while working for an independent choreographer or a dance company, they have the right to free first aid, medical assistance and compensation as provided by law. In order to have the work accident recognized, the dancer must report the event that led to the accident to their employer or representative at the time of its occurrence. They must then consult a physician, who will produce a medical certificate and report.
Emergency medical care (first aid, transportation by ambulance, hospitalization, etc.) must be provided to the dancer when the severity of the injury requires it. If the dancer is unable to notify their employer or representative about the accident, another person (colleague, friend, parent, etc.) can provide the notification on their behalf.
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Updated on February 2021