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Social Elections 2020: important update regarding COVID-19

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On Tuesday 24 March 2020, the social partners within the National Labor Council officially confirmed the consensus on the collective suspension of the social election procedure as of day X+36.

The current election procedure can be suspended as of day X+36. On Thursday 23 April 2020, the "law regulating the suspension of the social elections procedure of the year 2020 following the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic" was voted in Parliament. The law has a retroactive effect as of 17 March 2020. The legal text concerns a transposition of the advice no. 2.160 of 24 March 2020 of the National Labor Council. A Royal Decree has yet to transpose the new election dates and the modalities of the restart of the election procedure.

In particular, we can already announce the following important consequences:

  • All steps of the calendar will be postponed as of day X+36, probably until after the summer of 2020. This means that, for the time being, employers do not have to proceed with: the posting of the candidates lists (X+40), the composition of the polling stations, the drafting or handing over of the convocation letters.

  • If an employer has received at least one candidate list, the election procedure must be suspended as of day X+36 onward. This is also the case if there is only one candidate.

  • If an employer has not received a candidate list, for none of the personnel categories, the employer may stop the election procedure completely, in accordance with the applicable legal provisions. Any appeals against the termination of the procedure will only be lodged after the procedure has been suspended.

  • Employees on the 2016 candidate list as well as those elected in 2016 will continue to enjoy their protection until the newly elected works council and/or the committee for prevention and protection at work are installed. Employees on the 2020 candidate list also benefit from the aforementioned protection against dismissal since day X-30.

  • As long as no new works council and/or committee for prevention and protection at work have been established, the current works council and/or committee for prevention and protection at work will continue to function. In view of the measures in force, the employer must ensure that the information and consultation of the current works council and/or committee for prevention and protection at work can take place digitally and that meetings are organized, as far as possible, via an electronic means of communication.

If you have any other questions regarding the organization of the social elections, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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