Social elections | Headcount

Written on 17 Jun 2019

Who must be taken into account in the headcount of your organisation?

  • Headcount – General rules

All workers under a contract of employment or a traineeship contract count, regardless of the working hours or the nature of the contract (open-ended or defined term, white/blue-collar worker), including sales representatives, students, employees working remotely or from home. Special rules apply to posted workers, temporary agency workers of the end-user (unless they replace a permanent worker) and workers on long-term sickness leave, career breaks, etc

    • Assimilation

Specific types of workers performing duties under the supervision of someone else count as “workers of the TBU” for headcount calculation purposes, even if they are not under an employment or traineeship contract (i.e. workers under special training programs, FNRS/FRS researchers).

    • Exclusions (3rd party)

The following are not included in the elections headcount:

  1. independent contractors
  2. workers under replacement contracts (in case of contract suspension)
  3. temporary agency workers vis-à-vis the temporary work agency
  4. workers under an anticipated retirement program (RCC/WBT)
  •  Average headcount calculation

    • General rules

The 50 minimum headcount for the setting up of the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW) or 100 headcount for the setting up of a Works Council (WC) is based on the average headcount maintained over the period between 1st October 2018 to 30 September 2019 included.

    • Full-time
      • Full-time employees : calendar days (Dimona) between 1 Oct. 2018 and 30 Sept. 2019 / 365
      • Part-time employees:
        • If occupied for at least ¾ full time, they count as full-time;
        • if occupied for less than ¾ of a full time, they count for 50% (calendar days (Dimona) between 1 Oct. 2018 and 30 Sept. 2019 / 365/2)
  •  Transfer of undertaking

In case of a transfer of undertaking involving the transfer of headcount from one employer (legal entity/TBU) to another employer (legal entity/TBU), the transferred workers only count from the date of the transfer for the TBU headcount calculation purposes. They do not count for the full reference period when determining the total headcount of the TBU. So, for example, when new headcounts are part of a TBU as a result of a transfer of undertaking dated March 15, 2019, they will count for a period limited to 15 March 2019 to 30 September 2019 for the calculation of the average headcount in the concerned TBU.

  • Temporary staffing at the end-user

Temporary agency workers occupied by the end-user who do not replace permanent workers only count for the second quarter of 2019. So only the average temporary agency workers occupied between April and June 2019 at the end-user count for the 50/100 thresholds.

  • Habitual nature of the average headcount

Not only must the average headcount reach the statutory thresholds over the reference period in order to establish a WC or a CPPW. The average must also be habitual.