Competition Bureau publishes wage-fixing and no-poaching enforcement guidelines

News release

May 30, 2023 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

Wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements will be illegal beginning on June 23, 2023.

Today, the Competition Bureau published its wage-fixing and no-poaching enforcement guidelines.

The guidelines provide businesses transparency and clarity on the Bureau’s enforcement approach to the new criminal provisions coming into force on June 23, 2023.

With the 2022 amendments to the conspiracy provision (section 45) of the Competition Act, as of June 23, 2023, it is a criminal offence for employers to agree:

  • to fix, maintain, decrease or control wages or other terms of employment; or
  • to refrain from hiring or trying to hire one another’s employees.

In addition, beginning on June 23, 2023, all fines for offences under the conspiracy provision—including agreements to fix prices, allocate markets, restrict supply, fix wages or refrain from hiring—will be determined at the court’s discretion. Under the previous provision, fines were capped at a maximum of $25 million.

The Bureau will also update its Immunity and Leniency Programs to include the new wage-fixing and no-poaching provisions. The Immunity and Leniency Programs are the Bureau’s most powerful tools for detecting and stopping criminal conduct prohibited by the Competition Act.


“The wage-fixing and no-poaching amendments coming into force is an important step in the ongoing modernization of Canada’s competition law. With these enforcement guidelines, we’re providing businesses with the certainty and predictability they need to ensure that they’re in full compliance with the law."

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • The wage-fixing and no-poaching amendments to the Competition Act are part of the Government of Canada’s Budget Implementation Act, 2022 (Bill C-19), which was enacted on June 23, 2022.

  • The publication of the enforcement guidelines follows a public consultation process, where interested parties were invited to provide their views on a draft version.

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.

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