The Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) states that the use of French must be generalized in all Quebec-based businesses employing 50 people or more.
This means that French needs to be the working language among staff, managers, board members and so on. In addition, all documents, including catalogues, employee manuals, software programs, signs, contracts and collective agreements needs to be in French.
Once a business has demonstrated that French is the working language of their workplace, it is awarded a Francization Certificate.
The Office québécois de la language française (OLF) is the provincial agency in charge of issuing Francization Certificates. The process is fairly straightforward. Here it is in a nutshell.
- A company starts by registering with the OLF.
- Six months later, it must submit an analysis of its linguistic situation to the OLF.
- If, following this analysis, the use of French is deemed appropriate by the OLF, a Francization Certificate is issued.
- If not, the company is asked to develop a Francization program, submit it to the OLF for review and, once approved, implement it in the workplace and monitor its progress.
- Once any outstanding language-related issues have been rectified, the OLF grants the business its certificate.
- Every three years, companies need to submit a report to the OLF demonstrating the continued use of French in their place of business.