Competition Bureau seeks feedback on new guidance related to wage fixing and no-poaching agreements

Illustration: HR Law Canada
By The Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau is inviting interested parties to provide comments on new guidelines to address wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements following recent amendments to the Competition Act.

In June 2022, the Government of Canada added subsection 45(1.1) to the Act to protect competition in labour markets. The Bureau’s new guidelines describe its approach to enforcing subsection 45(1.1) which comes into force on June 23, 2023. They will supplement the Bureau’s current Competitor Collaboration Guidelines.

When the amendment comes into force, wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements will become illegal and subject to significant criminal penalties in Canada.

Much like other agreements between competitors, such as price fixing, wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements undermine competition. Maintaining and encouraging competition among employers results in higher wages and salaries, as well as better benefits and employment opportunities for workers.

Interested parties can provide comments on the Bureau’s guidelines online, or to the coordinates below, by no later than March 3, 2023.

Cartels Directorate 
Competition Bureau 
50 Victoria Street 
Gatineau, Quebec 
K1A 0C9

Each submission received by the Bureau will be published on its website unless the provider specifically requests that it be kept confidential.

Quick Facts

  • Enforcement guidelines provide an overview of the Bureau’s general approach to applying specific provisions of the Act.
  • Subsection 45(1.1) comes into force on June 23, 2023. As of that date, it will be an offence for unaffiliated employers to agree to fix, maintain, decrease or control wages or other terms of employment, or to not solicit or hire each other’s employees.
  • The provision will apply only to new agreements entered into by employers on or after June 23, 2023, as well as to conduct that reaffirms or implements older agreements.
  • The Bureau will continue to review and update the guidelines in light of experience, changing circumstances and decisions of the courts.

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