Establishment of the staff delegation (as of 1 February 2019)

Last update 17.02.2019

Social elections take place every 5 years. At this time, employees vote to elect the members of the staff delegation in their business.


Once the results are announced, the new delegation must be set up.
 

Who is concerned

The elected candidates establish the new staff delegation, with the employer's assistance.

Deadlines

The employee with the highest number of votes calls the constituent meeting within one month of the elections.

Costs

The costs related to the election of staff delegates are covered by the employer.

How to proceed

Setting up the new delegation

Constituent meeting

The employee with the highest number of votes must call the constituent meeting.

During the meeting, the staff delegation appoints, from among its regular members, in a secret ballot and by the system of relative majority:

  • a president;
  • a vice-president;
  • a secretary.

In the event of a tied vote, the eldest person is elected.

At the constituent meeting, the staff delegation appoints, from among its members or the ranks of the other employees:

Within 3 days of the constituent meeting, the president of the delegation provides the head of the company, in writing, with the names and national identification numbers of:

  • the vice-president;
  • the secretary;
  • the members of the board;
  • the health and safety representative;
  • the equal opportunities officer.

Within 5 days of receiving notice of the delegates' positions, the head of the company forwards this information, and the corresponding information for the president, to the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines – ITM) using the declaration of job titles procedure via the MyGuichet platform.

Composition of the board of the staff delegation

In order to handle the daily business and the preparation of its meetings, the staff delegation appoints members of the board from among its regular members, in a secret ballot, using proportional representation.

The board is made up of the president, vice-president, secretary and:

  • 1 member, if the staff delegation has at least 8 regular members;
  • 2 members, if the staff delegation has at least 10 regular members;
  • 3 members, if the staff delegation has at least 12 regular members;
  • 4 members, if the staff delegation has at least 14 regular members.

For its role of participation in certain business decisions in businesses with at least 150 employees, the board is increased by at least one more staff delegate.

The increase is in proportion to the number of votes received for each list with members in the staff delegation but who are not yet a member of the board.

The president of the staff delegation must provide the head of the company and the ITM, in writing, within 3 days of the constituent meeting, with the names of:

  • the vice-president;
  • the secretary;
  • the members of the board.

During the first meeting after the constituent meeting of the staff delegation, the employer must inform the elected members about:

  • the business structure;
  • its ties to other businesses, where applicable;
  • the foreseeable economic development;
  • the employment structure;
  • the business policy in terms of vocational training, health and safety at work and equal treatment.

Convening and meeting of the staff delegation

Convening of the delegation

The staff delegation meets when convened in writing by its president, at least 6 times per year.

In addition, the president of the delegation must convene the delegation when requested to do so, in writing, by at least one third of the regular members.

Note that the business must provide the staff delegation with suitable premises whose resources (including computer equipment) and office expenses, heating and lighting costs are covered by the employer for the delegation's meetings and consultations.

Meeting of the delegation

The subject of the delegation's discussions is set by an agenda that is approved by the delegation's board and sent to the members at least 5 days before the meeting.

Staff delegation meetings take place behind closed doors, and decisions are taken by majority vote by the members in attendance.

At the request of the delegates or the head of the company, the staff delegation may delegate specific issues to joint review by an employers' professional association and a union that has overall national representation or industry representation.

Participants in meetings

If the staff delegation includes only one regular member, this member's substitute is automatically authorised to participate in the elections.

The head of the company or head of the company's representative may be invited to participate in the delegation's discussions, but may not be present during voting.

Furthermore, in businesses having employed at least 51 people in the 12 months preceding the posting of the notice announcing the elections, consultants may be invited to the meetings to review issues put forth, when requested by a majority of delegates. These consultants may be from within the business or outside it, and their number may not exceed one third of the number of delegation members.

In businesses with between 51 and 150 employees, trade unions to which at least one third of active elected members belong are entitled to propose consultants.

In businesses with more than 150 employees, trade unions that have garnered at least 20 % of the electorate may propose consultants, and the delegation then decides which consultants will be entitled to attend meetings.

The delegation may also decide to appoint an expert if they believe that the subject under discussion is of crucial importance for the business or its employees.

Staff delegation for an economic and social entity

When several businesses make up an economic and social entity, a delegation may be set up at the level of that umbrella entity if requested by at least 2 delegations from within the entity.

Such requests must be submitted within 3 months of the staff delegation elections. They must be sent to the employers in the relevant entities.

The role of the staff delegation for the economic and social entity is to represent the interests of every worker employed in any of the businesses making up that entity.

The only responsibility of the entity's staff delegation is to ensure the exchange of information between the various staff delegations from which it was created.

The staff delegation of the economic and social entity is composed of regular and substitute staff delegates from each business with a staff delegation.

The number of staff delegates per business depends on the total number of their staff:

  • for businesses with 15 to 100 employees: one regular and one substitute delegate;
  • for businesses with 101 to 500 employees: 2 regular and 2 substitute staff delegates;
  • for businesses with more than 500 employees: 3 regular and 3 substitute staff delegates.

The members of the staff delegation in the economic entity are elected by and from among the members of the staff delegations by relative majority in a secret ballot.

If, in any of the businesses in the economic and social entity, there are one or more businesses with fewer than 15 employees and without staff delegation, then the total staff of this or these businesses appoint a representative who will participate in the meetings of the umbrella entity's staff delegation.

This representative is entitled to half the training hours of regular staff delegates.

Businesses in an economic and social entity without a staff delegation may request that a staff delegation be set up for the higher-level entity, provided that at least 3 of the businesses:

  • employ fewer than 15 people each;
  • constitute an economic and social entity;
  • and employ at least 15 workers in total.

The request to establish a staff delegation for the economic and social entity must be submitted to the ITM by at least 15 employees.

The ITM will then set a date for elections by relative majority.

The same legal provisions that apply to staff delegations also apply to the staff delegation for the economic and social entity, with the exception of the provisions regarding:

  • information and consultation concerning technical, economic and financial issues;
  • participation in certain business decisions;
  • the health and safety representative and the equal opportunities officer.

The members of the economic entity's staff delegation have the same rights and responsibilities as the members of conventional staff delegations, except those concerning vocational training.

The right to vocational training is limited to the number of training hours granted to substitute staff delegates.

Special case: transfer of the business

In the event of a transfer of the business or establishment, or part of the business or establishment, the status and function of the staff delegation remain the same insofar as autonomy is preserved.

In the event of a loss of autonomy, the members of the staff delegation shall automatically belong to the staff delegation of the body to which the employees are transferred.

Within one month of the transfer, this expanded delegation shall appoint:

  • a president;
  • a vice-president;
  • a secretary;
  • a board.

If the employees of the business, establishment or part of the business or establishment that loses its autonomy are transferred to an organisation that does not have a staff delegation, the delegation of the transferred entity serves as a joint delegation.

Who to contact

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