Bill 124 Unconstitutional for Unionized Employees Only, Ontario Court of Appeal Holds

Earlier this week, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its much anticipated decision upholding, in part, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision declaring the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (“Bill 124” or the “Act”) to be unconstitutional, and to be void and of no effect. Our readers will recall our previous Focus Alert published when Bill 124 was first declared unconstitutional by the Superior Court of Justice.

The majority of the Court of Appeal confirmed the unconstitutionality of Bill 124, but only as it applies to represented employees. Therefore, this means that Bill 124 is now still in effect for unrepresented employees. However, a few hours after the Ontario Court of Appeal decision was released, the Government of Ontario announced that it would not appeal the Court of Appeal decision to the Supreme Court of Canada and will instead take steps to repeal Bill 124 in its entirety in the coming weeks. The government has also announced that, in order to address the inequality between unrepresented and represented employees created by the Court of Appeal’s decision, regulations will urgently be introduced to exempt non-unionized workers from Bill 124 until it is repealed.

For employers, this means that Bill 124 remains a thing of the past for both their unionized and non-unionized employees. We will continue to monitor the status of the Act’s anticipated repeal and new regulations and keep our readers apprised of any future developments in that regard.

For more information, please contact Raquel Chisholm at 613-940-2755 or Noel Platte at 613-563-7660 ext. 7987.

UPDATE: On February 23, 2024, the Government of Ontario repealed the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 – also known as “Bill 124” – in its entirety through an Order in Council. In its press release on the matter, the government indicated that repealing Bill 124 was intended to “solve for the inequality of workers created by the recent [Court of Appeal] decision”. As the Order in Council repealing Bill 124 is not yet publicly available as of the time of publication of this update, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide further updates to our readers as necessary.

Related Articles

Ontario Government’s Bill 149, Working for Workers Four Act, 2023 Receives Royal Assent

Bill 149, also known as the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023, was introduced by the Ontario government in November 2023…

First Report Under Canada’s Anti-Forced Labour and Child Labour Legislation Required by May 31, 2024

The Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the “Act”) – colloquially known as Canada’s Modern Slavery Act –…

Termination of Employment: Not in an Employer’s “Sole Discretion… at Any Time”!

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice provides yet another example of the growing number of ways…