Collective employment relations
Social elections

In exactly one year, the quadrennial social elections for your works council and/or prevention committee will commence. This procedure – which will last for 150 days – starts with the so-called “Day X-60”, which falls in December 2023.

The dates of the 2024 social elections period are not yet fixed. For this, we are still waiting for the advice of the social partners in the Belgian National Labour Council, which is expected by the end of this month. Hereafter, the proposed dates will still have to be confirmed by the legislator. The period currently under consideration runs from 13 to 26 May 2024. Since this immediately follows the dates of the spring holidays in French-speaking schools, it might still be opted to have slightly later election dates. We will, of course, keep you informed about this.

On that date you must communicate the following information within your company:

  • Demarcation of the technical business unit(s) (“TBU”);
  • Management functions;
  • Executive functions. 

For some of you, the forthcoming social elections are not the first encounter with this procedure; for others, it will be the first time. For all of you, being thoroughly prepared is essential. In particular, the way you define the boundaries of the TBU and how you classify management staff will influence many aspects of your HR approach during the next four years (2024-2028). Unsurprisingly, these decisions often give rise to discussions with trade unions, and in some cases result in lawsuits before the labour tribunals. 

In addition, the reference period for the calculation of the employment threshold runs from 1 October 2022 until 30 September 2023, and temporary agency workers will count during the second quarter of 2023. 

As always at this stage, Claeys & Engels has thoroughly examined the case law from all Belgian labour tribunals arising from the last social elections. Thus, we are well prepared to assist you in applying all legal principles to your particular circumstances.

Our experts are ready to take a closer look at your company and to assist with the preparation of strategic decisions, such as:

  • Which employees and temporary agency workers count towards the threshold? What about expats, self-employed persons, etc?
  • Do you need to alter the current structure? What could the trade unions ask: a single works council and multiple prevention committees? Breaking up of the current structures or joining them together? Can you still modify certain important aspects?
  • Who will be regarded as “management staff”? Do you still have an opportunity to implement changes? 
  • Will you maintain the current “executives” list or should this be changed?

Action point

Feel free to contact us and we will work with you to find the best method of organising such a "check-up" tailored to your needs.