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A secular state

Church and state are separate and distinct in Quebec. In 2019, the Quebec government passed an act respecting the laicity of the state.

Certain public workers in a position of authority cannot wear religious symbols while working. For example, judges, police officers, school principals and teachers cannot wear religious symbols.

Religious symbols include jewellery, clothing, accessories or face coverings. All employees of public agencies are forbidden from wearing face coverings for non-health reasons. This rule applies only to public workers, and not to public service users.

Freedom of religion

Laicity applies to public workers performing their duties. The general public has the freedom to express and practice their religion. Quebec’s society includes people of all religions.

Practicing your religion at work

You should talk to your employer about whether you can practice your religion at work. Every case is different.

Some workplaces may have a hard time accommodating religious practices if they have fixed break times or other job-specific constraints. Other workplaces will have an easier time accommodating employees’ religious needs.