The Social and Economic Committee, having the role of employee representation, will succeed the Works Council from January 1. This change will affect several aspects, and of course budgets are no exception. It is time to take stock of the different budgets to be established for a CSE.
The operating budget
The operating budget is the main CSE budget . The latter is used to cover the company's current expenses.
The operating budget: a legal obligation
The obligation to establish an operating budget does not date from today. This rule was in fact set up on November 1, 1982. The employer then had the obligation to pay back to the works council an amount representing 0.2% of the total gross wages. From there comes the nickname of 0.2.
Its origins are judicial. Indeed, the Peugeot-Sochaux works council was condemned, the initiative of which came from their management. In February 1979, the Court of Appeal decided to quash the decision to hire an economist whose salary would have come from the budget for social work, the only budget at the time. This decision was then confirmed by the Court of Cassation almost 2 years later.
In 1982, through the AUROUX laws, a new budget was created in order to prevent similar situations in the future and to limit the use made by the budget of social works. This allowed the EC to have a specific budget for each of these two main functions, both socio-professional and economic. Several judgments of the Court of Cassation subsequently confirmed this initiative.
Expenses taken into account by the operating budget
The operating budget covers:
- The operating expenses of the CSE : these are all expenses allowing the committee to rotate. This includes the purchase of office equipment, office supplies or other tools useful for the exercise of its activity, the payment of telephone bills, documentation charges related to the function, the various travel expenses with the exception of meetings whose organizational initiative comes from the employer or the largest portion of CSE members. You must also exclude trips made for CHWs.
- Hiring expenses : to carry out the functions at their expense, the Social and Economic Committee may need staff. When one member of this staff spends half the time meeting employees in the context of social and cultural activities and the other half performing administrative tasks, their salary is ½ allocated to the budget for social activities and cultural. The other half is allocated to the budget for economic and professional activities.
- Expenses dedicated to communication : these are expenses allowing to inform the various employees of the activities of the committee. This includes the purchase of landline and mobile phones, computers, tablets and other communication tools. You also have in this category newspapers, books, fairs, seminars and presentation of the budget.
- Expertise and study expenses : this includes internal audits, the establishment and application of internal regulations, opinion surveys, market studies, various legal proceedings, etc. The operating budget allows to pay the expert (s) that the committee chooses to help and guide him in all of his tasks. He must also participate in the payment of 20% of the fees of the experts assisting this committee in making strategic decisions for the organization. In the event that the CSE has not been able to return its budgetary surplus to social and cultural activities during the past 3 years, the experts will be entirely remunerated by the employer.
- Training expenses : training expenses are divided into two sub-categories. First, you have the training expenses of the various committee members. This training allows them to fulfill all the tasks incumbent upon them. This category takes into account the training of elected officials but also that of the establishment's DS and RS. Then you have the training expenses of all the stewards.
Expenses which are however excluded from the operating budget are:
- Contributions to inter-CSE services for the purchase of tickets, travel tickets and obtaining discounts when shopping in shopping centers.
- Acquisition of reduction cards, regardless of the employee's use of them
- The costs inherent in ordering vouchers, holiday vouchers or gift vouchers ...
- Transport costs for visits to amusement parks, hotel occupancy during a trip, etc.
- Social and cultural activities from which employees would benefit
- Nutrition and travel expenses for reasons deemed invalid by the committee
Determining the operating budget
The works council had before grant dedicated to its operation. The latter was paid back by the employer. The sum to be paid was then equal to a minimum of 0.2% deducted from the total gross wages.
Current texts still show this rate. However, certain clarifications have been made and modifications have been made. We consider 0.2% of the company's payroll only for companies with a workforce of between 50 employees and 2,000 employees. When the workforce exceeds 2,000 people, the rate increases. The operating budget subsidy therefore goes from 0.2% to 0.22% of the establishment's total salaries
The budget for social and cultural activities
The ASC budget is a CSE budget used by the committee to finance institutions and social operations.
The ASC budget : the point of view of the law
The budget for social and cultural activities is a budget that businesses are not legally obliged to keep. Its optional nature comes from the "monopoly" of socio-cultural activities. However, most of the committees have an ASC budget. Only a small proportion of about 5% of the latter do not have one.
This near omnipresence in companies stems from several factors. First, a significant part of collective agreements requires the maintenance of a socio-cultural budget. This proportion is estimated at around 40%.
Second, the lack of taxation of socio-cultural activities comes into play. In fact, earnings and other various benefits from these activities for the benefit of employees are not subject to income tax or any social security charges. This indirect financial repayment to employees is particularly appreciated by them. In addition, it does not cost the employer much.
Finally, the presence of a socio-cultural budget comes from the fact that, during the creation of the committee, it must obtain funding of a minimum amount equal to all the social charges of the establishment that took place before the first ballot. If this budget has existed for a minimum of 3 years, it is converted into a percentage, for the current year, of the gross payroll. The percentage thus established can no longer be reduced, not even by the employer himself.
Expenses taken into account by the budget for social and cultural activities
The ASC budget allows the funding of actions which are not compulsory. This is done in order to make the living conditions of employees and their families more pleasant. The expenses that can be included in this budget are detailed in the labor code in its article R. 2313-35. These are:
- Management costs of external providers of ASCs : this includes the costs of purchasing, postage, in connection with ticket management, etc. By way of example, if software is acquired by the committee solely for the management of CHWs, the charges generated must be included in the socio-cultural budget.
- Expenses incurred as a result of membership in a social organization or association : these expenses also take into account participation in the payment of holiday vouchers. This participation is 1% of the total amount.
- Expenses to improve the overall situation of employees : These are all expenses aimed at improving the environment and well-being. These may include facilities such as canteens, nurseries for children, housing, cooperatives, etc.
- Entertainment expenses : sports and leisure activities must be included in the CHW budget. It can be the organization of sports meetings or meetings in a context different from that of work such as outings to the cinema, the organization of end of year parties or outings to the amusement park.
- Training expenses: these are expenses dedicated to training staff members. Sending to a learning center, holding general culture courses, study circles, acquiring a library among others fall into this category
- Adaptation expenses : the committee must ensure that it participates in the proper adaptation of all staff within the company. To do this, he can use the funds available in the ASC budget.
Determining the budget of CHWs
The labor code does not give any real information regarding the amount to be allocated to the CHW budget. Even with regard to the minimum rate to be paid, no details are given.
The main information that is available is the fact that the amount of the budget for socio-cultural activities is fixed by a company agreement. The percentage of the contribution for the current year in relation to the gross payroll must also be higher than the percentage for the year taken as a reference.
To find out more about the CSE budget, do not hesitate to consult our article on the CSE Treasurer .