Elections 2019: everything at a glance
There are federal, regional and European elections in Belgium on 26 May. Everyone who has the minimum age of 18 years has a voting and attendance duty. But what if your employee has to work that day? Can he vote? What about wages? What if he has been called to be president, assessor or secretary? Is there a difference between the president, the assessor and the secretary in polling and counting stations? What if one of your employees gets elected? Let’s take a look.
Can your employee vote during his working day?
If your employee wants to vote, you as an employer can give him a day off or you can give him permission to be briefly absent to vote. The employee can also give someone else a proxy, so that other person is authorized to vote on his behalf. This is only possible if you as an employer confirm through a certificate that the presence of the employee at work is absolutely required.
Is your employee entitled to compensation for voting during working hours?
If your employee is absent during the working hours to vote, you as an employer do not have to pay him. The employee is not entitled to wages in any situation that he is going to cast his vote.
What if your employee has been called to be president, assessor or secretary in a polling and counting station?
If your employee has been called to be president, assessor or secretary, he has the right to be absent from work.
The assessor in a main polling station or any polling station may be absent as long as his duties require. During this time, these assessors are entitled to their wages.
The absence from work of the president and the secretary in a polling or counting station is not reimbursed. Neither is the assessor in a secondary polling or counting station.
If the employee has a valid reason, he can be exempted from his civic duty. You as an employer can give him a certificate to prove that he must be present at work.
What if one of your employees gets elected on 26 May?
When an employee has certain full-time mandates, he is officially granted political leave for the performance of his duties. This political leave cannot be refused because these mandates are not considered to be cumulative with his duties as an employee.
Political leave starts on the day of taking the oath and lasts as long as the mandate is exercised. This period of political leave is unpaid, but the employee gets a remuneration for exercising his mandate.
Kris De SchutterPartner Attorney at law
Kris De Schutter is partner in and chairman of the Employment & Benefits practice group in Belgium. He has over 18 years all-round experience in collective and individual employment law, with a particular focus on transformation, especially from a holistic view linked to alternative (flexible) remuneration, restructurings and change processes.T: +32 2 700 10 13 E: email@example.com
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