The Situation Letter Service

The Situation Letter Service

The situation letter is a service offered to the industry’s employers who wish to obtain a snapshot of their file at the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). A situation letter may be requested for work done on a particular site or for the purpose of tendering. This letter is composed of information some of which is supplied by the employer and retained by the CCQ.

The conditions for issuance of a situation letter and the information that it may contain are governed by the Regulation respecting letters describing the situation.

What is it used for?

The situation letter enables a work provider to assess the risk of joint liability for salaries due to workers by a contractor or a subcontractor, as provided in section 54 of Act R-20.

Is a client using the information provided in a situation letter to justify holding back money due?

A client is a person or company that does business with a contractor to complete a construction project. The client does not perform any construction work associated with the project but hires a contractor who will take charge of the project.

Joint liability does not apply to clients who ensure that the contractor with whom they have contracted holds an appropriate RBQ licence that is valid throughout the duration of work. When these conditions are in place, clients do not risk incurring remedies for joint liability under Act R-20.

As a result, there is no justification for withholding payments owed to a contractor on the basis of information provided in a situation letter for a construction site. However, if a mortgage targeting wages has been registered to the contractor’s property, the owner could be held liable.

Information contained in the letter

For example, here is information that may be mentioned depending on the type of letter (for the purpose of tendering or for a site) and the specific content observed.

  • Information on the project supplied by the requester (nature and duration of work, designation of the work provider, value of the contract, employer’s workers assigned to the work, and list of subcontractors)
  • The state of monthly reports sent
  • The state of civil claims (and the reasons for the requester’s contestations and the sums held back to guarantee payment of claims, if applicable)
  • Orders of suspension of work and requests for review
  • Criminal convictions
  • Whether the employer holds an RBQ licence
  • Transmission of the requester’s notice of registration

The letter may also contain some information concerning subcontractors and concerning the employer’s administrators, shareholders, directors, partners, or employees. The period covered for the different categories of content in the letter varies depending on the type of letter (for the purpose of tendering or for a site).

The employer may use the form for a previous request in order to avoid having to re-enter the list of subcontractors. To do this, the employer simply has to select the option “Resubmit.”

To find out all of the details regarding the information contained in the letter, consult the Regulation respecting letters describing the situation.

State of the most recent monthly report

To ensure that the state of the previous month’s monthly report appears on the situation letter, the employer must request the letter after the 23rd day of the current month.

To request a letter

You must:

  • Be registered as an employer with the CCQ
  • Fill out the form available through the CCQ’s online services
  • Pay the $30 fee for issuance of the document upon receipt of the invoice

If you make a mistake in the information that you supply you will have to send another application, duly filled out, to the CCQ. You will also have to pay the $30 fee again.


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