Social elections and Covid 2019 : What happens ?
Employees’ and employers’ representatives have decided on March 17, 2020, to suspend the 2020 Social Elections.
The social partners meeting at the National Labour Council (CNT) on March 24, 2020, has agreed on the modalities of the suspension of 2020 Social Elections[i]. This is only a Recommendation. The social partners call on the government to implement it in the legislative and regulatory framework. We present part of this recommendation taken by the CNT, which will have to be adopted in a legislative and regulatory framework (Royal decree or ministerial decree):
- The procedure is suspended from day X+36 (the day after the last day for the submission of the list of candidates). Therefore, the submission of the lists of candidates must proceed as planned (up to X+35 at the latest), the communication of these lists to the employees - neither in paper or electronic format will be suspended.
- The Council suggested that the social elections should be postponed to the period from 16 to 29 November 2020.
- According the Council, the end of the suspension should be fixed in autumn, on a date that will be based on a new election period. The electoral procedure will start again from this new day X+36.
- All the agreements reached during the temporary suspension period of the electoral procedure will be maintained and remain unchanged, except for those which have become irrelevant and which expressly concern Covid-19 (i.e. agreements on postal voting).
- The end of the electoral procedure may be established in companies in which no list of candidates has been submitted by X+35 at the latest.
- The CNT suggested that candidates presented at X+35 benefit from the protection against dismissal granted by the law of March 19, 1991.
- Measures have been proposed concerning the rules of protection of employees and the suspensions of the procedures.For example, current representative employees who do not candidate for the 2020 social elections would continue to enjoy special protection against dismissal until the day the new social consultation bodies are set up.
- Measures have been proposed to ensure the continuation of social consultations within the bodies as currently composed during the period of suspension.
- The CNT has proposed to maintain the initial Y date (May 2020) as a criteria for the review of eligibility requirements, including for replacement candidates.
The social election procedure is complex and highly technical and we would like to strongly recommend you to consult us if you have any questions.
Robert DE BAERDEMAEKER