Employment and pensions

Does your Belgian company need to hold social elections in 2024?

Published on 13th Sep 2022

HR teams should keep a close eye on headcounts during the year-long reference period before the elections

Above view of people in a meeting sitting around a table

Social elections in Belgium are organised every four years. The next social elections are due to take place in May 2024. This is mandatory for every company that reaches certain personnel thresholds.

A company is required to hold social elections:

  • for a Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work if it employs an average of 50 workers during the reference period;
  • for a Works Council if it employs an average of 100 workers during the reference period.

Whether your company exceeds the threshold of 50 or 100 employees is determined on the basis of the average headcount over a reference period of one year.

The reference period for the upcoming social elections runs from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023.

The average headcount is calculated according to a specific formula. Please note that the following individuals are included in the calculation and may therefore affect the average headcount:

  • All employees with an employment contract, as well as the assimilated categories;
  • Long-term absent employees;
  • All apprentices and persons following individual professional training;
  • Temporary agency workers (according to a specific calculation).

A worker employed with a 75% (or more) full-time contract will count as one full-time equivalent (1 FTE). Less than 75% employment accounts for 0.5 FTE. 

New personnel hired, the termination of employment and transfer of undertakings will all have an impact on the average headcount during the coming reference period. Your HR team should keep a close look at the figures in the coming months.

Please contact one of our experts below should you require further information on this topic.


* 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.

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