The 5 stages of creating a CSE

From January 2020, the works council will be replaced by the Social and Economic Committee. The creation of CSE is an important step for any organization. It is even compulsory for establishments with at least 11 employees. To ensure that everything takes place in accordance with legal procedures, you have below the 5 essential steps to follow.

1 - Determining the workforce

Before embarking on the actual creation process, you must first know what your actual workforce is . This will allow you to determine whether or not it is necessary for you to create a CSE . If your workforce has fewer than 11 employees, you have no obligation to embark on this process. On the other hand, if in 12 months, you have managed to reach a workforce of 11 or more employees, the establishment of this committee becomes an obligation.

Not all employees are taken into account in the calculation of this workforce. Employees with a full-time permanent contract, and those who work from home are all included. On the other hand, people in possession of an open-ended contract and an intermittent or temporary employment contract are counted in the workforce in proportion to their presence during the last 12 months. The same applies to employees made available to the company by an external organization present on the premises for a minimum of one year. This excludes replacement employees or employees suspended for holidays. For part-time employees, the total number of their hours must be divided by the legal working time.

The people who are not automatically taken into account during the determination of the company's workforce are those in possession of an employment initiative, employment support or professionalization contract. You will also have to exclude all apprentices.

Depending on the total staff you find, you will deduct the number of members to be elected to the Social and Economic Committee. From 11 employees to 24, you will only need one holder and one alternate. These numbers go to 2 for the group of 25 employees to 49. You will need 4 incumbents and 4 alternates if your total workforce is between 50 and 74 people. A holder and an alternate must be added for the bracket of 75 employees to 99. So on until you need 35 full members and 35 alternate members for companies with a minimum workforce of 10,000 employees.

2 - Information for staff and unions

After determining how many full members and alternate members are needed in your business, it's time to give the information to staff and unions. The employer has the duty to inform the staff of the upcoming election. He can, for this, use all the means at his disposal. The means used must allow the date scheduled for the first ballot to be communicated. A maximum period of 90 days after the sharing of information must be respected. For clarity, it is useful to inform the staff on the exact number of people to be elected. He must also be aware of the participation of trade unions in the negotiations.

Trade unions must also be informed of the organization of these elections. The employer is responsible for inviting them to negotiate the pre-electoral protocol. All means can once again be used to make them aware. They must therefore be informed of their role in drawing up lists of candidates for posts in the staff delegation. The invited unions are those which comply with all the rules of respect for the values of the Republic. They must also have been incorporated at least two years ago. Their professional and geographic fields of action must finally include the company in the CSE creation process.

Certain trade unions must imperatively be informed of the holding of votes by mail. These are those who are officially represented in the company, those who have created a union cell in the establishment and finally, those who have an affiliation linking them to organizations whose representation extends throughout the territory national and on the profession. You must inform the trade union organizations at least two months before the mandate of the staff representative and its partners expires.

3 - Negotiations with trade union organizations

After inviting the various trade union organizations, it is time to start the negotiation process with them. If the invited unions decide not to appear on the date fixed for the negotiations, the employer alone will bear the burden of fixing the pre-electoral protocol. This protocol will be in the form of a written document bearing the signature of the employer himself as well as those of the various unions which had been kind enough to appear during negotiations.

The various discussions will focus on the number of seats in power at the CSE . Then, they will count on the composition of the electoral colleges as well as their number. Unions must reassure themselves that these will be made up of a group of people ensuring a balanced representation between men and women. It will then be necessary to discuss how the staff will be distributed in the colleges and how the seats in power will be distributed between these different colleges. Finally, all the practical arrangements for holding these elections will have to be defined. It will be a question of fixing the date of the vote, its hour, the whole of the material means to be used, the rules of eligibility and electorate, how the polling station will be constituted, the type of vote, the deadline for submit files, etc.

For the established protocol to be considered valid, two so-called majority conditions must be fulfilled. First, the majority of unions and organizations involved in the negotiations must sign the document for it to be valid. Secondly, the representative trade union organizations which had the majority of votes in the previous professional elections must be among the signatories. In the event that the election results are not available, the majority of unions representing the company will need to be signed.

4 - The establishment of the lists and the polling station

Before the vote is organized, the electoral lists must be drawn up. These lists must include the surname and first name of the employees, the number of times spent in the company, the information related to voter status, and that related to eligibility. Personal data such as their date of birth, place of birth and address are not compulsory.

The people considered as voters are those who, regardless of gender, have been working in the company for at least 3 months. They must have reached the completed age of 16. These must not be, or have been subject to a prohibition of expiry or an incapacity in relation to civil rights.

Regarding the eligibility to be part of this election, and therefore the lists that will be established, you must be over 18 years of age. Eligible employees must have worked in the establishment for at least one year. An exception is made for relatives (spouses, sisters, brothers, allies, parents, children, allies of the same rank) of the employer. Employees who work part-time at the same time in several companies cannot be eligible in all. They are only eligible in one of these companies. It is their responsibility to choose the establishment in which they wish to apply.

Employees being sent to an organization by another can only be eligible after a continuous presence of at least 12 months in the host company. They cannot, however, take part in the election in this enterprise. They can, however, make a choice between the company that receives them and the one that actually employs them with regard to the exercise of the right to vote.

After drawing up the lists, a polling station will have to be created. The latter will be responsible for ensuring that the ballot takes place in the best conditions of regularity and fairness. It is this office which will have to count the votes and give the final results. The methods of composition of the office are determined by the pre-electoral protocol. It will be established for all electoral colleges. It is also possible to choose a single polling station on the basis of this same protocol. However, the members must still be representative of the different colleges.

Other people outside the polling station can monitor that the poll is going well. It can be a candidate, a candidate's representative, the employer, an employer representative, a list delegate who will be chosen for each list and a union representative for each union organization that presents a list.

5 - The organization of the votes and proclamation of the results

Finally, for the creation of the CSE , it will be necessary to organize the electoral ballot. The latter can take place in different ways. Firstly, it is possible to organize the ballot at the workplace. This will be done by conventional ballot. It will therefore be necessary to provide several paper ballots, envelopes for confidentiality and ballot boxes that can easily be differentiated from one another and representing each electoral college. It will also be necessary to think of finding a place which will serve as a voting booth in which each voter can make his choice.

It is also possible to organize the postal ballot. But it must always be an exception occurring only when it counts in the collective agreement or the pre-electoral protocol. Finally, you can go electronically. In the digital age, this option is used more and more. But for that, it will be necessary that an agreement was signed or that the decision comes directly from the employer.

A first round will then be held. The latter will only take into account the lists drawn up by the unions which took part in the negotiations. At the end of the first round, 3 situations can be noted. First, the trade union organizations responsible for presenting lists did not do so. In this case, a second ballot is compulsory. Second, the quorum was not reached. It will therefore be necessary to organize a second round only for colleges in this situation. Finally, a quorum is reached. The votes are counted and the seats allocated. A second round can be organized. But this will only be done if seats have not been filled.

When a second round is organized, it opens its doors to people whether or not represented by a union. It must take place during the 15 days following the organization of the first round. This allows all candidates to be able to campaign before. The ballot boxes are stripped in public. It is the president of the polling station who will finally announce the results before the establishment of the minutes.

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