Social elections 2020 - Hide and seek 2.0: start of the new blackout period of dismissal protection
07/09/2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 social elections procedure was suspended after date X+35 (normally situated between 17 and 30 March 2020) and will be rebooted as from 23 September 2020 (new date X+36). The 2020 social elections will now be held in the period between 16 November until and including 29 November 2020. 

Employee representative organisations had to file their candidate lists before the suspension of the social elections period due to COVID 19, on date X+35. All candidates mentioned on these lists are protected against dismissal. 

However, in specific circumstances, f.e. when a candidate resigns, employee representative organisations can replace a candidate. These replacements can be done until X+76 and these substitutes are, of course, also protected against dismissal. Since the employer most likely has no information about who will replace a candidate, while this substitute is already protected against dismissal, this period is called the blackout period for protection against dismissal. Therefore, employers should exercise extreme caution when considering a dismissal during the blackout period, as they risk terminating the employment agreement of a protected employee without knowing it.


What’s in a name: protection against dismissal and the blackout period

The blackout period did not continue during the entire period of suspension of the social elections procedure, but ended on X+35. A new blackout period started 36 days before the new date X+36, specifically for substitutes. Thus, the blackout period for substitutes started on the new date X (which is situated between 18 and 31 August 2020) and will end on the new date X+76 (which is situated between 2 and 14 November). In order to determine the new blackout period within your company, check our calendar tool

Of course known candidates are protected against dismissal. 

Related : PwC Legal ( Mr. Bart Elias ,  Mrs. Pascale Moreau ,  Mr. Olivier Chapelle ,  Stefanie Van de Perre )

Mr. Bart Elias Mr. Bart Elias
Partner
bart.elias@pwclegal.be
Mrs. Pascale Moreau Mrs. Pascale Moreau
Partner
pascale.moreau@pwclegal.be
Mr. Olivier Chapelle Mr. Olivier Chapelle
Senior Managing Associate
olivier.chapelle@pwclegal.be
 Stefanie Van de Perre Stefanie Van de Perre
Senior Managing Associate
Stefanie.Van.de.Perre@pwclegal.be

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