Social elections

Social elections | Categories of workers

Published on 17th Jun 2019

It is of utmost importance to determine from the outset to which category a worker belongs. For example, people belonging to the upper management or the executives cannot be elected.



Workers belonging to this category are the people in charge of the daily management of the Belgian entity. They represent the employer and can make binding decisions. They can be on the roll as self-employed, e.g. directors.

People directly reporting to these people are also part of the list of executives. To belong to that second category, people should perform daily management tasks in the Belgian business and be on the payroll.

Typically, the CEO belongs to the first category and the CFO, HR manager or COO will belong to the second group.

These people will represent the employer within the WC / CPPW after the elections. They have the right to vote but cannot be candidates. This also means that they cannot be protected against dismissal.


Managers constitute a separate category of people for the election of the members of the WC. For the CPPW, they are part of the wider group of white-collar workers (see below).

To belong to that category, people should hold a position with a certain level of responsibility and a certain degree of independence. Managers are in general in possession of a university degree or equivalent experience.

More than the title of the job, it is the content of the function that is decisive.

Other categories

Blue-collar workers and white-collar workers participate to the elections as two separate categories.

Younger workers (< 25 years) also constitute a separate group if there are at least 25 of them in the company.

Temporary agency workers (new)

Temporary agency workers participate to the social elections at the user company if they have worked for at least three consecutive months or at least 65 days in the period between (roughly) August 2018 and February 2019, and have worked at least 26 days in the period between (roughly) February 2019 and April 2019. This category should be looked at closely if your company relies on temporary agency workers on a large scale. We can provide more information concerning the exact calculation of these two periods.

Interested in hearing more from Osborne Clarke?

* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

Connect with one of our experts

Interested in hearing more from Osborne Clarke?