Part XV.1 of the ESA prohibits, with certain exceptions, employers from entering into employment contracts or other agreements with an employee that are, or that include, a non-compete agreement.

Part XV.1 was added to the ESA 2000 by the Working for Workers Act, 2021 (WFWA). Although the WFWA received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021, Part XV.1 was deemed to have come into force on October 25, 2021 (which was the day that the WFWA was introduced in the Legislature).

As such, Part XV.1 prohibited employers from entering into non-compete agreements starting October 25, 2021, and any such agreements that were entered into on or after October 25, 2021 are void.

Part XV.1 does not prohibit or void non-compete agreements that were entered into prior to October 25, 2021.

Before the WFWA, disputes about enforceability of non-compete clauses were resolved through the courts. Nothing in Part XV.1 prohibits employees and employers from resolving disputes about the enforceability of non-compete agreements in the courts, regardless of when they were entered into, if they choose to do so.