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Social Elections 2012: the candidate lists arrive…!

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On day X+35 at the latest, the candidate lists must be given to the employer. These lists will have to be posted up by the employer on day X+40 at the latest. Thereafter, the employer has some time to dispute the lists if he wishes.

The candidate lists must be given to the employer by the representative organizations or their mandatories on day X+35 (that is, between 13 and 26 March depending on the election day) at the latest. Candidate lists given after this deadline are invalid. In order to determine whether the deadline is respected, the postal stamp will be taken into account (if it is sent by mail) or the actual date on which the list was handed to the employer. The election procedure can be terminated due to the following:

* if not a single candidate list is introduced on day X+35 (complete termination);

* if no candidate list is introduced for a specific category of employees (termination for that specific category);

* if only a single candidate list is introduced for a specific category of employees and if the number of candidates on this list is less than or equal to the number of effective mandates (termination for that specific category).

On day X+40 at the latest (that is, between 18 and 31 March), the employer must post up the candidate lists he received without making any modifications. The lists must be posted up at the same place as the announcements posted up on day X. This billposting can be replaced by an electronic dissemination of the document as long as all workers have access during their normal work hours.

Until day X+47 (that is, between 25 March and 7 April) at the latest, the employees appearing on the electoral lists or the representative organizations may file a complaint with the employer. Those who want to withdraw their candidature must also inform their employer by such deadline. On day X+48, the employer must transfer this complaint or the withdrawal of the candidature to the organization concerned. In case of dispute, the organization has a period of six days (until day X+54) to modify their candidate lists. On day X+56 at the latest, the employer must post the (possibly) modified lists.

In the event that a complaint was filed on day X+47, the employees, representative organizations and the employer can start judicial proceedings to challenge the candidate lists before the Labour Tribunal until day X+61 (that is, between 8 and 21 April). The tribunal must render a judgment on day X+75 at the latest. If no complaint was introduced on day X+47, the employer should start judicial proceedings before the Labour Tribunal on day X+52 (that is, between 30 March and 12 April) at the latest. The tribunal must then render a judgment on day X+66. Proceedings against the candidate lists are in particular foreseeable when the conditions with regard to eligibility are not met or in the event of "abusive candidacy". The absence of any such proceedings during the social elections procedure means the employer will not be able to dispute any more a candidacy (and the protective regime that comes with it) a posteriori, even if it was manifestly invalid.