Social elections 2024: Day X-30 (between 14 and 27 January 2024)

The protection against dismissal as granted to social elections candidates starts between 14 and 27 January 2024, depending on day Y.

On day X-30 a new dismissal protection period starts for each future candidate for the social elections.

During at least 65 days, certain employees will benefit from this protection without you as their employer even being aware of it. Therefore, the term “hidden” protection period is often used when referring to this period. The names of these employees will indeed only be known on day X+35 (that is between 19 March and 1st April 2024). Besides, in case of replacement of candidates their names might even be known only later (the final candidate lists should be submitted by day X+76, that is between 29 April and 12 May 2024).

The law provides that any employee dismissed during this period (irrespective of the reason for dismissal including dismissal for cause) can be nominated as a candidate employee representative, even if (s)he is no longer employed in the company on the day of the presentation of the candidate lists.

An employee dismissed during this hidden protection period (or the trade union that nominated this employee) is obliged to demand his/her reinstatement in a correct way within 30 days following the submission of the candidate list. Should you as employer refuse such reinstatement, you will owe the ex-employee concerned a compensation for failure to respect his/her protected status, which may amount to more than eight years’ salary!