Employees who have a mandate in a professional chamber, a body or jurisdiction of a social security institution, are entitled to special leave to carry out the missions they have been entrusted with.
The employees concerned must inform their employer each time they are called to fulfil their duties under their mandate.
Leave on the grounds of a social mandate is granted to each employee (in the public or private sector) or self-employed worker (liberal professions), who carries out a mandate as:
- a member of a professional chamber;
- a member of a body in a social security institution (e.g. council of arbitration, etc.);
- an assessor for the labour tribunal, the Council of Arbitration of Social Security or the High Council of Social Security.
Leave on the grounds of social mandate can only be taken by the person concerned to carry out the specific tasks that are in direct relation with the mandate.
Amount of leave for the social mandate
The beneficiary is entitled to a maximum of 4 hours of leave on the grounds of social mandate for each work session or hearing in the institution or body of which he is a member.
Where the beneficiary only carries out a part-time mandate, the number of hours of leave is adapted in proportion to the working time.
Administrative formalities to be carried out by employees
The employees concerned must inform their employer orally or in writing each time they are called to fulfil their duties under their mandate.
During the social mandate leave, the employee's salary is maintained and the employee is allowed to leave his workplace to fulfil his mandate.
Employees entitled to social mandate leave receive the form 'application for reimbursement' from the president of the institution or body where they are a member and which is intended for their employer in order to request reimbursement (depending on the amount of absence of the employee).
The employee must certify the correctness of the statements on the form by signing it.
Administrative formalities to be carried out by the employer
The employer is only informed by his employee of his absence. He may not refuse consent.
During the entire period of leave, the employer must continue to pay the employee his normal salary as well as the benefits related to his professional activity.
The employer's salary expenses for the employee are reimbursed once a year by sending the declaration for reimbursement duly signed and completed (by both the employee and the employer) back to the concerned institution or body.
The application for reimbursement must be sent before 31 March of the year following that for which the reimbursement is requested.
Employers lose their right to reimbursement if the application is presented after this deadline.
The concerned institution or body reimburses the employer the global salary cost (gross salary plus employer's contributions).
Administrative formalities to be carried out by self-employed persons
The self-employed (or liberal professions) are entitled to an hourly flat-rate allowance which is set at twice the social minimum wage for skilled workers (i.e. EUR 4,615.12 gross monthly amount as from 1 August 2016).
Applicants must send back the application for reimbursement to the institution of body of which they are a member.
The applicant must complete, sign and send back the application before 31 March of the year following that for which the reimbursement is requested.
The applicant loses his right to reimbursement if the application is presented after this deadline.
Social mandate leave and working relationship
The social mandate leave is considered to be an effective period of work, and as such:
- may not be deducted from the annual leave;
- must be taken into consideration when calculating the days of annual leave due.
During their social mandate leave, employees continue to benefit from the provisions regarding labour protection and social security.
Beneficiaries of social mandate leave continue to receive their normal salary plus the advantages that are linked to their professional activity.