Resumption of the 2020 Social Elections procedure: Countdown (Part 3)

14 September 2020

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 third episode: Do you employ interim workers within your undertaking? They might be entitled to vote!

Did your undertaking employ interim workers in the period between 1 August 2019 and 11–24 February 2020? It is possible that those interim workers will be entitled to vote in the Social Elections in your undertaking! This article explains what you need to keep in mind.

(The date ranges mentioned in this article indicate the period in 2020 within which the relevant deadline falls. The precise deadline depends on the Social Elections day within your undertaking.)

Which interim workers have the right to vote?

As mentioned in an earlier article on this subject, the 2020 Social Elections are the first in which certain interim workers will have the right to vote within their user's organisation.

In other words, the days of occupation of the interim worker in your undertaking (if any) during the period of suspension of the Social Elections procedure (from 18–31 March 2020 to 22 September – 5 October 2020 (inclusive)), are not taken into account for the calculation of the second condition. However, the second condition may already have been fulfilled at the start of the suspension of the Social Elections procedure. In that case, the suspension period has no impact on the calculation.

The interim workers with voting rights are treated as if they were employees for the pursuit of the procedure (lists of voters, complaints and claims, electoral colleges and committees, voting operations).

Can interim workers be removed from the voters lists?

Only the permanent employees and interim workers whose names are included in the voters lists are allowed to vote on the Social Elections day. Provisional voters lists were required to be established for the original day "X" (11–24 February 2020). After the resumption of the Social Elections procedure, there will be a limited opportunity to update these lists by removing certain names. All permanent employees and interim workers who are included in the final voters lists are allowed to vote, even if they turn out not to fulfil all of the voting conditions!

What does this mean for the interim workers?

The provisional voters lists for the original day "X" had to include the interim workers who would meet the voting conditions on the Social Elections day, i.e. those who fulfilled the first condition of length of occupation. If it turns out that those interim workers will not, after all, fulfil both conditions of length of occupation, there is a limited opportunity to remove those interim workers from the final lists of voters. Such removal is possible at the latest on the new day "X+77" (3–16 November 2020), but this requires a unanimous decision of the works council (WC) and/or the committee for prevention and protection at work (CPPW) – or otherwise a decision by the employer in agreement with all members of the trade union delegation. Thus, the employer has no power to take this decision unilaterally.

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

Note: The next forthcoming procedural deadline for the 2020 Social Elections is day "X+29" (16‑29 September 2020). 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 expanded) 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.