Step V : The elections

Upon the final establishment of the lists of the candidates (see step 4), the ballots for the WC and the CPPW could be prepared. Also the lists of the voters could be definitely closed and the electoral colleges could be finalized.

Obviously, there are separate electoral colleges for the WC and for the CPPW. In principle, there is each time a separate electoral college for the blue-collar workers and for the white-collar workers and, as the case may be, for the management personnel and the young workers (see step 3).

Also the polling committees could be assembled. In principle there is one polling committee for each electoral college. Derogations are allowed if circumstances so require (as an example because of the high number of voters or because the voters are located in different places). In such case, one polling committee is designated as the principal committee. A polling committee is composed of a chairman, a secretary and four assessors, who are part of the electoral college. Candidates are not allowed to be part of the polling committee. The parties, who have presented candidates, are allowed to appoint one witness for each polling committee.

All workers, eligible to vote, are convoked in writing to participate in the elections by handing over the convocation letter or by sending it to the workers who were absent at the time of handing over.

The voting takes place in the premises of the company at the date as fixed in the announcement posted in the company ninety days before. The timing of the voting is fixed in such a way that all workers can vote during working time. If that is impossible, the employer reimburses the travel cost to the workers who come to vote outside their working time. The voting takes place, in principle, on one single day, a normal working day.

The employer must make all means available to the polling committees in order to facilitate a secret ballot in a normal way.

The procedures of the voting itself (folding the ballots – handing over the ballots – deposit of the ballots, etc.) are generally parallel to the procedures for the town council elections, it being understood that voting by power of attorney is not possible and that mixed voting (nominal votes for candidates on different lists) is not allowed.

After closure of the electoral operations, the polling committee proceeds with the counting of the votes. If several polling committees have been established for the same electoral college, the principal committee is in charge of the counting. Elaborating in detail on this procedure would carry us too far away in the framework of this contribution, but, in general, also this procedure is quite parallel with the procedure for the town council elections:

separating the blank and invalid ballots, on the one hand, and the suspect ballots, on the other hand;

deciding on the validity or invalidity of the suspect ballots;

assembling the valid ballots for each list;

noting the nominal votes;

calculating the election figure;

determining the number of mandates for each list;

calculating the figure of eligibility;

designating the elected persons for each list, taking into consideration the list votes.

Upon closure of the vote counting the minutes are immediately established. The model of the minutes, as established by the Federal Public Service Employment, Work and Social Dialogue, is available here by clicking on SV-PV-N for Dutch and on ES-PV-F for French.

The original of the minutes are sent to the Director-general of the General Directorate Individual Employment Relations of the Federal Public Service Employment, Work and Social Dialogue, Ernest Blerotstraat 1, 1070 Brussels. As a substitute, a copy may be uploaded via the vehicle “documenten” on the web-application The results of the elections are also communicated to the FPS Employment, Work and Social Dialogue for statistical purposes. A copy of the minutes is handed to the employer, who keeps it during the whole period of the four years and is sent by registered mail to the workers and management personnel organizations that have participated in the elections.

At the latest one day after closing the electoral operations, the chairman hands all documents concerning the social elections to the employer in sealed envelopes; the employer keeps these during 25 days or – in the case of a recourse – until final decision of the employment jurisdictions.

At the latest two days after closing the electoral operations, the result of the elections is posted in the company premises, mentioning the elected representatives of the personnel and the representatives of the employer, with mention for both of the substitute members. This announcement remains posted until the 84th day following the day of the elections.

Recourse may be filed with the employment tribunal during a period of 15 days following the date of the elections.