Training leave for staff representatives

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Staff representatives who wish to improve their economic, social and technical knowledge for their role as staff representatives can benefit from training leave.

The training programme offered in the context of this leave is set up jointly each year by professional employers' organisations, the most representative trade unions on the national level and the Labour College (École supérieure du travail - EST).

Who is concerned?

Regular staff representatives can apply for training leave to develop their economic, social and technical knowledge.

Substitute representatives are only entitled to half as many training hours as regular representatives.

Whenever a substitute representative becomes a regular representative in the staff delegation during his term, the proportion of training leave already taken during the time as a substitute representative is deducted from the training leave which is granted to regular representatives.

Safety officers are also entitled to training leave in order to participate in training courses to develop health and safety at work.

Equal opportunities officers also benefit from training leave in order to participate in economic, legal, social or psychological training courses which are useful for the purpose of carrying out their tasks.

The staff representative for the economic and social entity (entité économique et sociale - EES) formed by at least 3 companies with less than 15 staff each but at least 15 staff altogether, is also entitled to training leave.

It must be noted that the employer must be informed about the salaried worker's application and also approve the training leave.

How to proceed

Amount of training leave

Each active staff representative is entitled to a certain number of weeks (1 week = 5 days) of training leave during his mandate, which are determined according to the company's number of staff:

Duration of training leave for each regular representative

Number of staff

Training leave in number of weeks


1 week during the term of office


2 weeks during the term of office


1 week per year

Representatives who have been elected for the first time are entitled to an additional 16 hours of leave the first year of their mandate.

Substitute representatives are entitled to half the hours of regular representatives.

The representative on the EES level is entitled to half the hours of regular representatives at the most provided that:

  • each business in the EES employs less than 15 people;
  • all the businesses forming the EES are employing at least 15 people altogether.

In addition to the training leave for staff representatives, the safety officer is entitled to:

  • 40 hours per mandate;
  • and 10 extra hours if it is their first mandate.

The equal opportunities officer is entitled to 2 half-days of training leave per year.

Training leave specificities

Training leave is taken during normal work hours. The leave can be split up.

Training leave is considered to be an effective period of work and as such:

  • it may not be deducted from annual recreational leave;
  • it must be taken into consideration when calculating the days of annual leave;
  • it cannot result in a loss of salary.

Application for training leave for staff representatives

A staff representative who wishes to take training leave must send a duly completed application for training leave for staff representatives to his employer.

The employer signs the application and returns it to the staff representative who must send it to the Labour College (EST).

During his training leave, the employee continues to benefit from the provisions regarding job protection and social security.

Paying wages during training leave

During the leave, the employer must continue to pay his employee.

The amount to be reimbursed by the State depends on the number of employees in the business:

  • if the business has less than 150 employees, the state covers wage costs that are equivalent to one week of training leave.
  • if the business has more than 150 employees, the employer is not entitled to compensation.

The proportion of wages not covered by the State must be paid by the employer.

Proportion of wages for training leave reimbursed by the State

Number of staff

Wage costs covered by the State


1 week of wages per delegate and per term of office


No compensation

Reimbursement request for wage costs

If the business has less than 150 employees, the EST will give the training participant a declaration of reimbursement (French, Pdf, 83 Kb) which must be forwarded to his employer.

The employer sends the form, completed and signed (by both the employer and the staff representative who took the training) to the EST.

The reimbursement covers the total social charges (gross salary + employers' contributions).

Who to contact

Labour College

Related procedures and links


Organisation of staff delegate elections (since 1 February 2019)


Further information

Labour College (EST)


Legal references

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