On June 23, 2023, significant changes to the Canadian Competition Act (Act) came into effect.
These key changes include:
A new criminal provision that prohibits agreements between non-affiliated employers to fix wages or other terms or conditions of employment (wage-fixing agreements) or to not hire or solicit each other’s employees (no-poach agreements).
The introduction of more significant financial penalties for a breach of the Act’s criminal conspiracy provision, including the new prohibition against wage-fixing and no-poach agreements. As of June 23, 2023, the maximum fine of C$25-million for a breach of this provision has been eliminated. The fines are now at the discretion of the court (such that the maximum fine for criminal conspiracy now aligns with the maximum financial penalty for other criminal offences under the Act, including bid-rigging and criminal misleading advertising).
Businesses should remain informed of the potential ramifications of these important developments and consider adopting best practices to ensure compliance.
For more background on these changes and the key takeaways for businesses, please see our Blakes Insights:
New Enforcement Guidelines for Wage-Fixing and No-Poach Agreements (June 2023 bulletin)
New Criminal Prohibition Against Wage-Fixing and No-Poach Agreements Coming Soon (May 2023 bulletin)
Competition Bureau Publishes Draft Guidance on Wage-Fixing and No-Poach Agreements (January 2023 bulletin)
Canada’s Competition Act to Ban Wage-Fixing and No-Poach Agreements (November 2022 podcast episode)
Competition Act Restrictions on Agreements Between Companies on Employment Terms: What You Need to Know (September 2022 bulletin)
Blakes and Blakes Business Class communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.
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