Social elections

The protection against dismissal as granted to social elections candidates starts between 12 and 25 January 2020, depending on day Y.

On day X-30 a new dismissal protection period starts for each future candidate for the social elections.

During at least 65 days, certain employees will benefit from this protection without you as their employer even being aware of it. Therefore, the term “hidden” protection period is often used when referring to this period. The names of these employees will indeed only be known on day X+35 (that is between 17 and 30 March 2020), or in case of replacement of candidates even only later (the final candidate lists should be submitted by day X+76, that is between 27 April and 10 May 2020).

The law provides that any employee 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 candidate lists.

An employee dismissed during this hidden protection period (or the trade union that nominated this employee) is obliged to demand his/her reinstatement in a correct way. Should you as employer refuse such reinstatement, you will owe the employee concerned a compensation for failure to respect his/her protected status, which may amount to more than eight years’ salary!

Action point

If your company organises social elections, any dismissal during this "hidden" protection period is a risky operation and to be avoided.

Do you have any questions with regard to the social elections in general? Contact us at .

Download our VerkiezingsWijzer/Guide Pratique Elections Sociales for free on our website ( Dutch French version).