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Headlines Employment & Labour: The social elections of 2016 are coming...

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The social elections of 2016 are coming...

The law adapting the legislation on social elections was published on 22nd June 2015 in view of next year’s social elections. This new legal framework must be taken into account when organizing these elections, which take place every four years. Although the main principles remain unchanged, some new elements should be noted.

The law modifying the social elections laws (which was adopted on 2nd June 2015) was published on 22nd June 2015. This new law, requiring that social elections be organized between the 9th and 22nd of May 2016, maintains the thresholds for the election of Committees for Prevention and Protection at Work and/or Work Councils. These thresholds must be calculated based on the usual average number of employees during calendar year 2015.

The following types of companies are obliged to organize social elections:

•those usually employing at least 50 workers during calendar year 2015: elections for the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW) ;


•those usually employing at least 100 workers during calendar year 2015: elections for the Work council (WC).


Reminder: temporary workers who are employed in the company during the last trimester of 2015 must be taken into account when calculating the number of staff.

The law does not change the modalities for calculating the number of employees (part-time workers, for instance).

Other new elements are:

•the law stipulates that if a company is transferred in 2015 within the framework of a conventional transfer of undertaking or a court-controlled enterprise transfer, only the period running from the date of the transfer to the 31st of December 2015 will have to be taken into account when calculating the usual average number of employees. Therefore, if your company intends to take over (or has taken over) employees in 2015 within the framework of such a transfer, we recommend that you examine the potential impact it could have on the social elections.


•the use of electronic communications continues to develop rapidly in 2016: the law provides for the possibility, for representative organizations, to introduce their lists of candidates using the web application of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue (ELSD);


•the law introduces a new incompatibility as from next year’s social elections. As is the case for the prevention adviser, the person of trust (as defined in the legislation relating to psychosocial risks at work) is not allowed to run in the elections or to be an employer representative anymore.


Some practical tips:

 

•Organizing social elections requires a thorough preparation. Many companies have started this preparation already.


•The first step is to identify the technical operational unit. Indeed, this is the level for which  social elections must be organized. The technical operational unit does not necessarily have to match the legal entity.


•Moreover, the classification of individual staff members between the various categories (blue-collar employees, white-collar employees, executive staff, management staff) must be considered carefully.


Liedekerke has already assisted many companies in the organization of their social elections. We provide custom-made counselling and also organize trainings on this subject.

We are at your disposal if you wish to receive more information.    

 

AUTHOR/OTHER CONTACTS  
    
Leen Holvoet
Senior Attorney
+32 2 551 14 57
l.holvoet@liedekerke.com
    
Paul Geerebaert
Partner
+32 2 551 14 58
p.geerebaert@liedekerke.com

This headline is not a legal advice.  

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