Social elections and their preparation

Once a company reaches a certain number of employees, it is obligated to organize social elections every four years. Social elections provide employees with the opportunity to determine who will represent them in the company’s consultation bodies: the works council and the committee for prevention and protection at work.

The organization of social elections goes beyond the two-week period in May 2024 and requires thorough preparation by the company. During this preparation, the legal rules defined in the Social Election Law must be closely followed. This law includes a strict calendar that starts 150 days before the election period, along with eligibility conditions for employees and the steps to be taken after the elected representatives are known. Therefore, it is advisable to start preparing from now on.

Which companies must organize social elections?

If your company already has a works council and employs an average of at least 50 workers, or if your workforce averages at least 100 employees, you will need to organize social elections for the election of a works council. If you employ an average of at least 50 workers, representatives for the committee for prevention and protection at work will be elected.

What rules apply to social elections?

Social elections follow a legally defined calendar, which can be broadly divided into two periods: the period before the start of the electoral procedure (referred to as day X-60 to day X) and the period from the start of the electoral procedure until the actual day of the elections (from day X to day Y).

Depending on the period, the company needs to address specific matters (e.g., defining managerial positions on day X-60, setting the election day on day X, distributing the call letters on day X, etc.).

In addition to the time-bound aspects, other rules should not be overlooked. For example, which employees in your company can be candidates, can every employee cast a vote, who is entitled to protection and what does this protection entail, etc.

With a view to the 2020 elections, the previous rules underwent a thorough update. Some innovations have been further updated in anticipation of the 2024 elections. For example, there is now a seniority requirement for temporary workers, reduced to 1 reference period. The digitization and computerization of the election procedure have also been relaxed, allowing for encrypted end-to-end network connections during the upcoming elections (no longer limited to the company workstation connected to the company network).

What can we do for you in social elections?

In summary, social elections require thorough preparation. DGDM guides you through the complex and strict procedure, pointing out any potential points of attention. This allows you to continue focusing on your own business and keeps election fever outside your company.

Specifically, we assess with you whether you meet the conditions to organize elections. If so, we support you in creating the calendar and addressing all formal aspects. We also provide answers to additional socio-legal questions that may arise in the aftermath of the social elections.

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