Social elections 2020 - just around the corner
When and why?
Social elections are held every 4 years in Belgium. During these
elections, the workers' representatives are elected for the works council and
the committee for prevention and protection at work (CPPW).
Social elections must be organised if a company employs at least 50
employees for the establishment of a CPPW, and at least 100 employees for the
To determine whether a company is obliged to organise social elections,
the number of employees employed during the
reference period must be taken into account. It is anticipated that the
reference period will run from the 1st of October 2018 to the 30th of September 2019 inclusive.
Every employee employed in the company, or the relevant technical
business unit (TBU), in the reference period must be taken into account to
determine whether or not social elections must be held. While a legal entity is
typically considered a TBU, a single company can comprise multiple TBUs or can
together with affiliated companies be considered a single TBU.
Temporary agency workers are also taken into account, but only those who
are hired during the last quarter of the reference period. This does not apply
for temporary agency workers who are hired to replace an employee who is
It is important that every company is aware that as of October 2018 hiring
or terminating employees may affect the obligation of the company to organise
The period in which the social elections will take place will be
published in the Belgian Official Gazette.
According to the information available today, the social elections will probably
take place between 11 May and 24 May 2020. This means that the pre-electoral
period will already start in December 2019. If you have to organise social
elections, you will have to choose an election date for your company in this
period. The date you choose will determine your election calendar.
To prepare for the social elections, Belgian employers are advised to
already provide a budget this quarter to finance the social elections. It is recommended
to discuss and organise the practical matters of the elections during the
period from January 2019 to September 2019 with the actual preparation of the social
elections in October and November 2019.
Anthony VAN DER HAUWAERT
Partner at Racine Brussels