Social elections 2020: what you should know


Between 11 and 24 May 2020, employees of Belgian companies will go to the polls. Every four years, they elect their (new) representatives to the Works Council and the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work. What are the functions of these consultative bodies, in which organisations do social elections take place and how do they take place?

Why are social elections important?

Social elections give employees a say in the main consultative bodies within their company. The benefits are multiple: employees feel heard, and are involved in the (prevention) policy, they know what's going on in the workplace and can contribute ideas or solutions while employers keep their finger on the pulse of what's going on in the workplace. 

The voting is done for:

  • The Works Council 
  • The Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW)

The delegation is chosen from the employees of your organisation.

The Works Council monitors the economic and financial health of the company, including its workforce, productivity, competitiveness and future prospects. The CPPW plays a key role in the field of prevention and well-being.

Who should organise social elections?

The size of the company determines whether or not you need to organise social elections and for what purpose:

  • Does your company have fewer than 50 full-time employees? Then you don’t need to have an election. In this case, employees have a say through employee representation or direct employee participation.
  • If you have at least 50 employees on average, you should organise social elections for the establishment of a CPPW.
  • If you have at least 100 employees on average, the social elections will designate both CPPW and Works Council representatives.

New from 2020: also take into account your temporary workers

From now on, temporary workers will also be included in the calculation of your average workforce.

Conduct of the election procedure

The entire election procedure takes exactly 150 days and is strictly regulated by law according to a fixed election calendar. If you do not respect it, the result will be invalid. Start preparing now and make sure that you complete all the legal formalities on time. Ask your social secretariat about the steps to be taken.

New from 2020: announcement of the results of the elections

At the latest two days after the elections, you must post a message with the results in the same locations where the date of the elections was announced (or would be announced, in case of electronic announcement). The message will be displayed for at least 84 days.

What are the conditions for eligibility?

In order to be eligible as a personnel representative, an employee must:

  • be employed under a contract of employment or apprenticeship contract;
  • be at least 18 years old (or 16 years for representatives of the young workers) and younger than 65 years (or 25 years for representatives of the young workers);
  • not be a member of the management, nor be a prevention or confidential adviser;
  • be employed in 2019 for at least six consecutive months or nine months with interruption in the legal entity or technical business unit formed by the different legal entities.

Attention Take into account the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR describes how you deal with data. In the case of the social elections, this means, in concrete terms, that you:

  • Include the social elections procedure in your processing register.
  • Inform your employees about the (legal) basis of the processing of their data.
  • Avoid random distribution of voter lists: provide a secure platform that is only accessible to employees with voting rights.

Want to know more?

On the website of FPS Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue (FOD WASO) you can find:

How can Mensura help?

In order to guarantee the proper and efficient operation of the CPPW a well-prepared installation meeting is needed. Practical arrangements must be made tailored to your company, taking into account the legal aspects. An external Mensura prevention advisor can assist you in the preparation and actual course of the Committee meetings.

Need more information? Contact us now!

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