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Resumption of the social election procedures 2020: Are you ready? - Employment Law

  • Belgium
  • Employment law


After being suspended for more than five months because of the COVID-19-pandemic, the 2020 social elections procedures have resumed in the 7.000 companies concerned by these elections.

Due to the health crisis and the measures taken by the government to stop the spread of the virus, the social election procedures could not be held between 11 May and 24 May 2020 as originally planned.

The law of 4 May 2020 has suspended the electoral procedures from X+36 until a date to be determined. The lists of candidates were introduced until day X+35 (between 17 and 30 March 2020 for companies whose procedure had not yet been delayed).

Since then, a Royal Decree of 15 July 2020 has been adopted: it organizes the resumption of the electoral procedures, it provides that the social elections (day Y) will be held from 16 to 29 November 2020 and it sets a date for resuming the electoral calendar on the 54th day before the new election date, i.e. the new day X+36, between 23 September and 6 October 2020.

Companies must prepare for this resumption and this starts by determining the new election date (day Y).

In principle, the new election date within each company will automatically follow from a logical integration of the original election day in the newly determined election period. However, companies with consultative bodies may set a different election date (within the period of 16 to 29 November 2020), if they consider this suitable. In companies without consultative bodies, the employer can also decide to modify the election date.

! The posting of the new day Y should be made no later than seven days before the actual day of the resumption i.e. no later than the new day X + 29. It means that for instance, if the new day Y is on 16 November, the company should communicate this on 16 September at the latest.

On this occasion, companies should also post the possible new timing (hourly schedule ; companies can either leave it as it was, or extend the duration of the vote or change the timing but companies cannot reduce the number of hours for voting) and the new elections calendar.

Concretely, companies must record any adjustments to the election date and, if applicable, to the schedule and the election calendar in the mandatory form “Avis rectifiant l’avis X après la fin de la suspension/ Bericht tot rechtzetting van bericht X na einde opschorting” (Notice to Correct Notice X After the End of the Suspension), available on the Public Service Employment Website.

This notice must be communicated, internally (to the employees) and externally (to the employee representatives’ organizations). In companies with no consultation body, this notice must also be communicated to the union delegation. Companies should also adapt the election date in the web application related to social elections.

Note that it is still possible to put in place an electronic voting for the elections, if it is not yet in place.

Last but not least, companies should keep in mind that a new occult period has started: new candidates, replacing candidates presented at X+35, are benefiting from a protection against dismissal since August 2020.