Voting in staff delegate elections

All employers having employed at least 15 staff in the 12 months prior to the first of the month when staff delegate elections are called, are required to hold such elections, regardless of the nature of their business, type of company or business sector.

All employees may take part in the staff delegate election, subject to certain conditions.
 

Who is concerned

All employees may vote in the staff delegate election, provided that they:

  • are at least 16 years of age on the day of the election;
  • are bound to the business by an employment contract or apprenticeship contract;
  • have been employed by the business for at least 6 months on the day of the election.
     

Prerequisites

An election notice must be posted, at least a month before the elections, stating:

  • the place and date of the elections;
  • the start and end times.
The notice must also specify:
  • the number of regular and substitute staff delegates to be elected;
  • the place where anyone interested can find the names of the candidates;
  • the conditions for the passive electorate (to be a candidate);
  • the electoral system (relative majority or proportional representation);
  • the number of employees used to calculate the headcount:
    • the number of employees working at least 16 hours per week;
    • the number of employees with a contract for less than 16 hours per week and the total weekly working hours stipulated in their contracts;
    • the number of employees with a fixed-term contract and of employees made available to the business, and the length of time for which they have been employed by the business during the 12 months prior to the closing date of the electoral rolls.

Three weeks before the date of the elections, alphabetical lists must be made available to employees (based on the template for publication of electoral rolls – staff delegation), showing all employees who meet the criteria for the active electorate (voters) and passive electorate (candidates).

A notice must be posted (3 weeks before the vote), stating that any objection to these rolls must be submitted to the manager or deputy manager of the business within 3 working days of their filing.

The posting of the election notice marks the start of the electoral operations.
 

Deadlines

Voting must occur during the hours when electoral operations are in progress.

If voting by post, voters must make sure that their ballot arrives at the correct voting office on time.
 

How to proceed

Election of the staff delegation

Vote in businesses with 15 to 99 employees: relative majority

The elections use the relative-majority system in businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

In this system, prospective candidates declare their candidacy individually (based on the template for individual candidacy).

Each voter may cast a single vote for each candidate, up to the total number of votes to which they are entitled, which corresponds to the number of regular and substitute delegates to be elected:

  • in businesses with between 15 and 25 employees, the employees elect 1 delegate and 1 substitute;
  • in businesses with between 26 and 50 employees, the employees elect 2 delegates and 2 substitute delegates;
  • in businesses with between 51 and 75 employees, the employees elect 3 delegates and 3 substitute delegates;
  • in businesses with between 76 and 100 employees, the employees elect 4 delegates and 4 substitute delegates;

Voters indicate their choice by marking a cross (+ or x) in the box next to the candidate's name.

The candidate or candidates receiving the most votes are elected. The runners-up become substitute delegates, until all available positions are filled.

Vote in businesses with 100 or more employees: proportional representation

In businesses with at least 100 employees, the election uses proportional representation.

The maximum number of candidates on a list is equal to the number of regular and substitute delegates to be elected.

The number of staff delegates elected varies based on the number of employees in the business, and may range from 8 to more than 50 (including regular and substitute delegates).

Each voter has as many votes as there are regular and substitute delegates to elect. Voters may cast 2 votes for each candidate, on one or more lists, within the limit of the total number of votes they have. Voters indicate their choice by marking a cross (+ or x) in the box next to the candidate's name.

If voters fill in or tick the circle in the box at the top of the list, they are voting for the entire list, and a vote is given to each candidate on the list.

A list cannot be elected to a seat if it does not garner at least 5% of votes cast.

Aspects common to the 2 voting systems

Any circle filled in, even incompletely, or any cross, even if it is imperfect, shall validly express the casting of a vote, unless there is an obvious intention to de-anonymise the ballot paper.

If any cross is marked in a place other than the designated box, the ballot will be voided.

Voters may not place any writing, signatures, cross-outs or marks of any kind on the ballot.

Voting procedure

On-site voting

The business manager must organise the elections in such a way that all employees are physically able to visit the polling station during their working hours without loss of pay.

One or more voting offices with ballot boxes are located at one or more sites within the business, as specified by a notice.

When employees go to vote, a polling officer checks off the voter's name on the alphabetical list provided by the business manager or deputy manager.

Employees receive a ballot that is folded into 4 at right angles and stamped on the back. If they damage their ballot, employees may request a new ballot and must return the first one.

When they go to vote, voters state their name and, when required, must be able to confirm their identity by showing an ID card, passport, badge or any other document with a photo.

Employees fill out the ballot privately in a special booth. They fold the completed ballot into 4 with the stamp on the outside and place it in the ballot box.

No votes by proxy are allowed: ballot papers are given in person to each voter.

Postal voting

If the business manager has requested and received authorisation from the Minister of Labour, employees absent from the business on election day may vote by post for reasons:

  • inherent to the organisation of work;
  • of illness;
  • of a work-related accident;
  • of maternity;
  • of leave.

Voters receive a registered letter containing the ballots and voting instructions at least 10 days before the election, provided they have met the criteria to vote by that date.

Postal ballots are folded into 4 at right angles and placed in a first envelope that is blank and left open. A second open envelope that bears the address of the head of the polling station and a space for the voter's signature is enclosed. A notice of the candidate lists and a copy of the ministerial order authorising postal voting are enclosed.

After casting their vote, voters fold the ballot into 4, at right angles, with the company’s stamp on the outside, and place it in the blank envelope, which they then seal. The sealed blank envelope must be placed in the envelope bearing the address of the head of the polling station.

The voter signs this envelope and posts it at the post office, as a registered letter, in time for it to arrive at the polling station before the close of voting. No envelope will be accepted after the close of voting, no matter when the envelope was mailed from the post office.

Postage is charged to the business.

Voters permitted to vote by post may also pick up their ballot and the 2 envelopes from the business manager or deputy manager, and sign a receipt. They may then submit the envelope containing their ballot to the head of the polling station, and be given a receipt, before voting closes.

The envelopes will be opened on election day. Ballots will be placed in the ballot box without being unfolded.

Disputes

If voters note any irregularities in the electoral process, they may notify the director of the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines – ITM) by registered letter within 15 days of the last day of posting of the result of the vote.

The director of the ITM rules within 15 days, returning a reasoned decision, after hearing the party or parties involved.

The decisions of the director of the ITM may be appealed before the administrative courts within 15 days of their announcement.

Such appeal has suspensory effect.

If the election is declared invalid by the director of the ITM or administrative courts, new elections must be held within 2 months of the date of the annulment.

Who to contact

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