- 03 Jan 2012
The protection against dismissal as granted to social elections candidates starts between 8 and 21 January 2012, depending on day Y.
Day X-30 (between 8 and 21 January 2012, depending on the date of the election day) coincides with the beginning of the period of dismissal protection that is granted to future candidate employee representatives for the social elections.
During this period of at least 65 days, certain employees will benefit from this protection without their employer even being aware of it. Therefore, the term "suspicious period" is often used when referring to this period. This is because the names of these employees will only be known by the employer on day X+35 (that is between 13 and 26 March 2012), or in case of replacement of candidates even only later (the final candidate lists should be submitted by day X+77, that is between 24 April and 7 May 2012).
The law provides that any employee who is dismissed during this period (irrespective of the reason for dismissal including dismissal for cause) can be nominated as a candidate employee representative, even if he/she is no longer employed in the company on the day of the presentation of the candidatures.
This employee (or the trade union that nominated this employee) is obliged to demand his/her reinstatement in a correct way. Should the employer refuse such reinstatement, the employer will owe the employee concerned a compensation for failure to respect his/her protected status, which may amount to more than eight years of remuneration!
Every dismissal that takes place during this "suspicious" period is therefore potentially extremely costly and ought to be avoided.