In a previous Infoflash, we discussed if workers have the right to take time off work in order to vote for the elections of Sunday 25 May 2014. In the same context, we also dealt with the right to continued pay.
In this Infoflash, we will tackle the subject of the rights of the workers who have been appointed an office within the framework of the elections.
The worker has the right to take time off work if he is called upon as a president, assessor or secretary in a polling station or a vote counting station (article 20, 5° of the Act of 3 July 1978).
According to the office and the type of polling station, the worker shall be entitled to paid circumstantial leave (or leave of absence), the duration of which is explained below.
If it regards a worker exercising the office of:
- assessor in a principal polling station or sole polling station (length of absence: the time needed);
- assessor in a principal vote counting station (length of absence: the time needed - maximum 5 days);
During those periods of absence, the employment contract is suspended with continued pay provided that the worker concerned has informed his employer in advance of the fact that he has been called upon as an assessor and provided that he uses the leave for the purposes for which it was granted
The employer has the right to request a copy of the appointment of his worker in the office of assessor as proof.
We note that the worker can ask to be suspended from his elective office within the framework of the elections for professional reasons; in that case he shall not be entitled to circumstantial leave.
Expect if otherwise specified in a collective bargaining agreement, in the employment regulations or in the employment contract, the worker shall never be entitled to paid circumstantial leave:
- if he exercises the office of assessor only on Sunday and this day is a day of inactivity for the worker.
- if he exercises the office of assessor in a polling station which is not a principal station nor a sole station;
- if he exercises the office of assessor in a vote counting station which is not a principal station;
- if he exercises the office of president or secretary in a station.
Nevertheless, should he wish to take time off work to exercise one of these offices, he will have to take one of his legal days of leave. In agreement with his employer, he can take unpaid leave on that day. He may also be entitled to a day of leave for urgent reasons, at least if the event in question justifies this type of leave on the basis of a contractual provision or a provision in the employment regulations or even a provision in a collective bargaining agreement in the company.
- Employment Contract Act of 3 July 1978, articles 20, 5°;
- Royal Decree of 28 August 1963 on the continuation of regular pay for manual workers, domestic servants, intellectual workers and workers employed in the service for inland navigation for family-related leave or leave for the fulfilling of civil obligations or civilian missions.
Auteur: Catherine Legardien