essential obligation46 in the employment contract 47 to the detriment of the employee,48 and the
employee, (i) within a reasonable time49 (ii) declines to accept the new terms of employment.50
46 Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Comm’n, 2015 SCC 10, ¶ 34;  1 S.C.R. 500, 521-22 per Wagner,
J. (“The first branch of the test for constructive dismissal ... has two steps: first, the employer’s unilateral change must
be found to constitute a breach of the employment contract and, second, if it does constitute such a breach, it must be
found to substantially alter an essential term of the contract”). See also Farber v. Royal Trust Co.,  1 S.C.R.
846, 858 per Gonthier, J. (“Where an employer decides unilaterally to make substantial changes to the essential terms
of an employee’s contract of employment and the employee does not agree to the changes and leaves his or her job,
the employee has not resigned, but has been dismissed. Since the employer has not formally dismissed the employee,
this is referred to as ‘constructive dismissal’”). Not surprisingly, this is the same test that is generally applied when
the promise breaker is not an employer. Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic of Edmonton v. North Pacific
Properties Ltd., 2022 ABCA 224, ¶¶ 123 & 126 (“Not all a promisor’s breaches of a promise made in a contract are
of sufficient importance to justify a promisee declining to discharge its obligations under the contract. Some breaches
are of such a minor nature as not to relieve a promisee of the burden of its promises. A promisee must honor its
commitments and sue the promissor for damages. .... Only if the court concludes that the promisor’s performance
deficit is substantial will the promisee have the option to treat the promisor’s performance deficit as a substantial
breach justifying the promisee’s refusal to discharge the promisee’s end of the bargain”).
47 The term may be either express or implied. Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Comm’n, 2015 SCC 10, ¶
37;  1 S.C.R. 500, 522-23 per Wagner, J. See Stacey v. Consolidated Foods Corp. of Canada, 76 N.S.R. 2d 91
(Sup. Ct. Tr. Div. 1987) (the Court held that the employer’s decision to reassign the plaintiff to a lesser position was
not constructive dismissal because the employment contract authorized the employer “at its option, by written notice,
effective immediately ... [to] reclassify the employee as regional vice-president of sales or division sales manager”).
48 Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Comm’n, 2015 SCC 10, ¶ 37;  1 S.C.R. 500, 522-23 per Wagner,
J. (“to qualify as a breach, the change must be detrimental to the employee”).
49 Id. (“At the first step of the analysis, the court must determine objectively whether a breach has occurred. To do so,
it must ascertain whether the employer has unilaterally changed the contract. If an express or an implied term gives
the employer the authority to make the change, or if the employee consents to or acquiesces in it, the change is not a
unilateral act and therefore will not constitute a breach”). See H. Levitt, The Law of Dismissal in Canada (3d ed.
loose-leaf rel. 2022-05) § 5:7 (“after management changes a term of employment, an employee must make a
determination of whether to accept the change or notify the employer that he or she is treating the change as
constructive dismissal. After that period elapses, the employee may be deemed to have accepted the position and may
be estopped from then claiming a constructive dismissal”) & 2 D. Harris, Wrongful Dismissal 3-32.32(11) (loose-leaf
ed. 2020 – release 8) (“Whether the basis for an alleged constructive dismissal is a change in remuneration, a demotion
or a demand to relocate, the employee must elect to either accept or reject the unilateral change within a reasonable
time. … If the employee elects to accept the unilateral change and remain in his or her modified job, he or she will be
said to have condoned the modification(s). Such condonation, in turn, will estop him or her from later arguing that the
changes signalled … constructive dismissal”).
50 Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Comm’n, 2015 SCC 10, ¶ 37;  1 S.C.R. 500, 522-23 per Wagner,
J. (“the court. . . must ascertain whether the employer has unilaterally changed the contract. If an express or an implied
term gives the employer the authority to make the change, or if the employee consents to or acquiesces in it, the change
is not a unilateral act and therefore will not constitute a breach. If so, it does not amount to constructive dismissal”).
See Rowley v. High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc., 2011 ONSC 6221 (the plaintiff-employee accepted a short-term
commission reduction during a challenging period: “Mr. Rowley agreed to accept this temporary cut in his
commission, and in fact indicated that he would try to convince other outside sales personnel to accept a corresponding
cut in their commission”); R. Echlin & J. Fantini, Quitting for Good Reason: The Law of Constructive Dismissal in