Day X: posting of the notice announcing the date of the elections
On day X, i.e. between 11 and 24 February 2020, depending on the chosen election day, the Works Council and/or the CPPW, or, in their absence, the employer, must provide the employees with the following written information:
(1) The name(s) and address(es) of the Technical Business Unit(s);
(2) The date and time schedule of the elections (day Y);
(3) The election calendar;
(4) The number of mandates for the Works Council and/or the CPPW per body and per category of employees;
(5) The person in charge of the distribution of the voting letters;
(6) The provisional voters’ lists or the place(s) where they can be consulted;
(7) The list of high-level executive personnel (‘leidinggevend personeel/personnel de direction’) (including their names and the content of their function) or the place where they can be consulted;
(8) The list of the managerial personnel (‘kaderleden/cadres’) (including their names and the content of their function) or the place where they can be consulted (for the Works Council election only);
(9) If applicable, the right to vote electronically.
Although this obligation relies on the Works Council and/or the CPPW, it is the employer that usually prepares the information, which is then posted after the approval of the Works Council and/or the CPPW.
The information that must be provided
Some of the data to be communicated on day X is already final (since the right of appeal has already expired) and therefore cannot be modified anymore. Other communications are now being provided for the first time.
(1) The name(s) and address(es) of the Technical Business Unit(s)
This information is not new. Indeed, on day X – 35 the employer already informed the Works Council and/or the CPPW (or, in their absence, the Trade Union Delegation) and the employees of its decision regarding the delimitation of the Technical Business Unit(s). However, the employees or the unions still had the right to lodge an appeal against this decision. In such a case, the delimitation of the TBU(s) has become final on day X – 5, which is communicated on day X.
(2) The date and time schedule of the elections (day Y)
Day X is the day on which the notice announcing the date of the social elections (day Y) has to be posted.
|Day Y = Day X + 90 Days|
The Works Council and/or the CPPW (or the employer in case there are not any consultative bodies yet) decide(s) about the date and time schedule of the election day. If they do not reach an agreement on day X, then the social inspectorate will take a decision (the Employment Court is not competent in this respect).
The time schedules have to state the beginning and the end time of the election day. All employees must have the opportunity to vote. For example:
- If the employment happens in several shifts, then the polling station(s) must be open during the working hours of the morning, day and night shifts;
- If the employment happens in several regional locations: additional polling stations can be set-up, or, if not, after the voting has ended at the first location, then the polling station can be ‘moved’ to a second location, provided that it is installed there before the employees start working.
In principle, social elections must be organised on one day. However, where it is not possible to hold elections on one single day, they may be held on several (even non-consecutive) working days, but this will require the agreement of the Works Council or the CPPW or, in their absence, the Trade Union Delegation.
The time schedules have to be stated for the Works Council and the CPPW and for each category of employees.
(3) The election calendar
Each chosen election day gives rise to a specific calendar containing the different dates on which actions must be taken by the employer.
You can compose your personalised calendar with the ALTIUS tool on our website.
(4) The number of mandates for the Works Council and/or the CPPW per body and per category of employees
First, the number of mandates must be determined for the Works Council and/or the CPPW according to the following table.
|Number of employees on day X (including high level executive personnel with an employment agreement and temporary agency workers who do not replace a permanent employee)||Number of mandates per body (effective mandates + replacements)|
|<101||4 + (4)|
|101 < 500||6 + (6)|
|501 < 1.000||8 + (8)|
|1.001 < 2.000||10 + (10)|
|2.001 < 3.000||12 + (12)|
|3.001 < 4.000||14 + (14)|
|4.001 < 5.000||16 + (16)|
|5.001 < 6.000||18 + (18)|
|6.001 < 8.000||20 + (20)|
|> 8.000||22 + (22)|
For the Works Council, this number of mandates will be increased if at least 15 managerial employees (‘kaderleden/cadres’) are employed within the company.
|<100 managerial employees||+ 1 mandate|
|> 100 managerial employees||+ 2 mandates|
Second, the number of mandates must be divided between the different categories of employees (blue- and white collar employees, managerial personnel and young workers) on the basis of the number of employees employed within each category (high level executive personnel with an employment agreement is included within the category of the managerial personnel; and temporary agency workers are not taken into account).
In companies with at least 25 young workers, the mandates are first granted to this category as set out in the table below. The remaining mandates are divided between the other categories of employees.
|Number of employees||Number of young workers||Number of mandates for young workers|
|<101||25- 50 + 50||1 2|
|101<500||25 -100 +100||1 2|
|+ 500||25-150 151-300 +300||1 2 3|
(5) The person in charge of the distribution of the voting letters
The employer has to assign the person or department that will be in charge of the distribution of the voting letters.
(6) The provisional voters’ lists or the places where they can be consulted
The provisional voters’ lists have to include all the employees who will have voting rights on day Y, i.e. all employees who will have 3 months’ length of service on day Y and who do not belong to the high level executive personnel.
Something new for the 2020 elections is that also temporary agency workers can vote.
On day X, the employer must include in the provisional voters’ lists, the temporary agency workers who meet the first length of service condition for voting (i.e. 3 months’ uninterrupted or 65 days’ interrupted employment with the user between X-6 months and X) and potentially the second length of service condition for voting (i.e. 26 days’ (interrupted) employment between X and X+77). If it turns out afterwards that certain temporary agency workers finally do not meet the second length of service condition, then they can be removed from the final voters’ list.
The voters’ list(s) has/have to be provided for each employee category. They must be available for the employees in an accessible place, or on a closed platform or on a secure intranet. They may not be sent by e-mail.
(7) The list of high level executive personnel (‘leidinggevend personeel/personnel de direction’) (including their names and the content of their function) or the place where they can be consulted
The functions of the high-level executive personnel were already communicated on day X-60 but only with an ‘indicative’ list of the names of the persons executing these functions. On day X, also their names and the content of their function have to be provided.
(8) The list of the managerial personnel (‘kaderleden/cadres’) (for the Works Council election only) or the place where they can be consulted
Also, the functions of the managerial personnel were communicated on day X-60, as well as an ‘indicative’ list of their names. On day X, their names are final and have to be communicated.
(9) The right to vote electronically
This right only applies if the Works Council and/or the CPPW has decided to allow voting electronically.
Mandatory formalities that must be complied with
There is an obligation to provide the information above in a standard form, which is available on the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue’s website.
This form must include the following statement: ‘To ensure the true representative character of the delegation that will be elected, all employees have the duty to take part in the vote’. Since employees do not have an obligation to vote, this statement is rather a moral call, than a legal obligation.
The written information should either be posted in the different sections and divisions of the company or the information should be made available to the employees through an electronic document, to which the employees have access during their normal working hours.
Finally, the employer must provide all of the information above through the web application of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue (https://www.sociale-verkiezingen.belgie.be OR https://elections-sociales.belgique.be/).
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