Social elections: electoral colleges and polling stations

Author: Catherine Mairy (Legal Expert)
Date:

The postponed social elections will take place during the period from 16 to 29 November 2020.

The election procedure resumes on the fifty-fourth day preceding the postponed election date (= new X + 36, between 23 September and 6 October 2020).

During the electoral procedure various formalities will have to be completed including the constitution of the electoral colleges and the composition of the polling stations.

These formalities can be summarised as follows.

Reminder! In this context, the employer shall see to it that the GDPR is observed.

Between day X + 40 and day X +54: constitution of the electoral colleges and composition of the polling stations

Between day X + 40 (between 27 September and 10 October 2020) and day X + 54 (between 11 and 24 October 2020), the following must be done:

  • on the one hand, the number of electoral colleges must be determined (= distribution of the voters in respect of the vote); for the constitution of the electoral colleges, the number of employees (permanent employees and temporary agency employees with voting rights)  registered for each category on the closed electoral rolls ;
  • and, on the other hand, the polling stations (= the persons who were appointed to direct and control the actual electoral procedures) must be composed .

The number of polling stations depends on the number of electoral colleges created. 

Constitution of hte electoral colleges for the committee for prevention and protection at work (C.P.P.W.)

If certain conditions are met, a maximum of three separate electoral colleges may be constituted for the C.P.P.W.: a separate electoral college for manual workers, a separate electoral college for non-manual workers and a separate electoral college for young workers.

Constitution of the electoral colleges for the Works Council (W.C.)

If certain conditions are met, a maximum of four separate electoral colleges may be constituted for the W.C.: the three colleges mentioned above and a separate electoral college for the executive staff.

Constitution and composition of the polling stations

If there are separate electoral colleges, manual workers, non-manual workers, executives and young workers will vote in different polling stations.

Each polling station consists of six persons whose appointment must be made no later than day X + 54 (between 11 and 24 October 2020) subject to certain conditions: a (full and alternate) chairperson, a (full and alternate) secretary and four assessors.

On day X + 60: posting of a notice

On day X + 60 (between 17 and 30 October 2020) the W.C. or the C.P.P.W. or, in the absence thereof, the employer, will have a notice posted stating the composition of the polling stations and the distribution of the voters per polling station. That notice shall be posted on the same locations as the notice announcing the date of the elections. The posting may be replaced by making the document available by electronic means provided that all employees have access to the document during their normal working hours.

On day X + 70 (at the latest): appointment of the witnesses

The polling stations may be supplemented with witnesses who appoint the relevant organizations representing the employees and  organizations representing the executive staff at the latest on day X + 70 (between 27 October and 9 November 2020) among the company's employees.

The list of witnesses shall be notified to the employer. This notification can be done via the web application specifically designed for this purpose on the website of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.

Note! The conditions required for postal vote will be set forth at a later stage.

Sources: Law of 4 December 2007 on social elections; Royal Decree of 15 July 2020 regulating the resumption of the 2020 social elections procedure suspended on the basis of the law of 4 May 2020 regulating the suspension of the social elections procedure of the year 2020 following the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Belgian Official Gazette 22 July 2020.

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