The 2020 Social Elections procedure is about to resume. In the run-up to "Resumption" day (23 September – 6 October), the Eubelius Social Elections Focus Team highlights a selection of electoral topics in four episodes.

Here is the first episode: Did you know these rules about candidates and lists of candidates?

There would be no social elections, no works council (WC) and no committee for prevention and protection at work (CPPW) without candidates. It is important to be aware of the regulations concerning candidates and lists of candidates. This article highlights some of these regulations.

  • Candidates are protected against dismissal, even if they are not elected. See our recent article to find out more about this far-reaching dismissal protection, and about the new so-called "occult" period which starts on 18–31 August. (The date ranges mentioned in this article indicate the period within which the relevant deadline falls. The precise deadline depends on the Social Elections day within your undertaking.) 
  • There are three rounds of posting of the lists of candidates within the undertaking. The lists must be posted at the same places as the original "day X" notice, and it is the employer who has to take care of all three postings. Each posting is mandatory, even if nothing has changed compared to the previously posted lists. The postings may be replaced by communications by electronic means, provided that all workers have access to them during their normal working hours. The employer is not entitled to make its own changes to the lists. It must also respect the order of the lists and candidates.

    • First posting, which may be attended by a representative of each organisation (or the executives) that presented a list: between (new) day X+36 (23 September – 6 October) and day X+40 (27 September – 10 October) at the latest: the final lists of candidates as introduced at the latest on (original) day X+35 (17–30 March), according to the statutory template, and with the mandatory mention of the (moral) duty of employees to participate in the vote;
    • Second posting: on day X+55 or day X+56 at the latest (13–26 October): the lists as amended (or not), following complaints, corrections or withdrawals pursuant to the legal terms and conditions; and
    • Third posting: on X+77 (3–16 November): the lists, with possible amendments in case of replacement candidates; these are the final lists.

For details about the GDPR information that needs to be provided, as well as other tips for GDPR-compliant Social Elections, see our earlier article on this subject.

  • Replacement of candidates on the lists is only possible:
  • in a few specific cases (timely replacement after timely objection to list of candidates, death of the candidate, resignation of the candidate from his/her job or from the organisation that presented his/her candidacy, change of category of the candidate, timely withdrawal of candidacy),
  • up to X+76 (2–15 November) by the organisation (or the executives) that presented the list, and
  • after having consulted the employer.
  • The fulfilment by the candidates of the eligibility conditions (e.g. age and seniority) must be assessed taking into account the original Social Elections day in your undertaking (11‑24 May 2020). This is also the case for replacement candidates presented after the resumption. 
  • A candidate is allowed to vote (if he/she is part of the electoral list), and may be appointed as a witness of the electoral operations, but in no event may a candidate be part of an electoral committee – not as chair, nor as secretary, nor as an assessor.
  • The employer must provide the WC members with an overview of the ratio between female and male candidates on the final lists of candidates, as well as the ratio between female and male elected representatives on the WC and the CPPW. These data must be shown in comparison with  the total number of female and male workers within the undertaking. This overview must be provided and discussed within six months following the posting of the electoral results. Where there is no WC, the overview must be provided to the members of the trade union delegation.

For information about the resumption of the 2020 Social Elections, see our earlier article on this subject.

Note: The next forthcoming procedural deadline for the 2020 Social Elections is X+29 (16‑29 September). On this date at the latest, the WC and/or CPPW – or otherwise the employer – must post and communicate a rectification notice (on the basis of a statutory template), specifying the new Social Elections day within the undertaking, the (possibly updated) voting schedule, and the new electoral calendar.

The Eubelius Social Elections Focus Team is keeping track of the situation. We wish you a smooth restart of the procedure and we are on standby, ready to help you through this unprecedented electoral challenge.