Social elections 2020 - first deadline coming up

As communicated in our previous newsletter, the 2020 social elections - delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic - will take place in the period between 16 and 29 November 2020. This means that the social elections proceedings, which are currently still suspended due to the pandemic, will be rebooted shortly. As mentioned before, the social elections proceedings will be rebooted as from date X+36 (situated between 22 September and 6 October 2020, depending on the actual election date). However, companies must already inform their employees on the intricacies of the reboot beforehand, at the latest on new date X+29 (situated between 16 and 29 September 2020).

Before the expiry of this deadline, companies must inform their employees about the new election day, the new electoral calendar and the new timetable (if applicable). This information concerns a revision of the information provided on the initial date X. For more information on determining the new election date and adjusting the election timetable, we refer to our newsletter of 24 July 2020.

This information obligation applies to companies that will continue the social elections proceedings after the period of suspension. Note that, even though the social elections proceedings were suspended after date X+35, employers could at that point still decide to terminate the procedure if no candidate lists were submitted. Companies that terminated the social elections proceedings will of course not reboot the procedure and no longer have to comply with the upcoming deadline(s).

Communication of the new information

The company’s Works Council (WC) or Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW) must inform the employees on the above-mentioned topics. However, if there’s neither a WC nor a CPPW in the company, it’s up to the employer to inform the employees.

The employees must be informed by means of the form provided for this purpose by the Royal Decree of 15 July 2020 (Dutch versionFrench versionGerman version).

Internally, this form must be communicated in the same way the information on date X was communicated; by physically posting it at the company’s premises. Alternatively, the information can be made available digitally (e.g. on the company’s intranet), provided that the employees have access to it during their normal working hours.

A copy of the announcement must be provided to the representative employee organisations, either by uploading a copy of the template to the online platform of the Federal Public Service in charge of Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue or by sending a copy to the offices of these organisations by post.

If there’s neither a WC nor a CPPW in the company, a copy of the announcement must also be provided to the trade union delegation.

If you have any questions regarding the reboot of the 2020 social elections or the social elections in general, do not hesitate to contact us or visit our dedicated social elections website.