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Protection of employee representatives

Staff representative employees have a special protective status which prohibits the employer from taking discriminatory measures against them.

The protective status of employee representatives also requires the employer to follow a special procedure before transferring or terminating their employment contract.

This procedure requires obtaining the authorization of the labor inspector before notifying the employee of the employer’s decision. If the procedure is not followed, or if the permission given by the labor inspector is cancelled, the employee has a right to reinstatement and compensation.

For example, the staff representative employees who are protected are:

  • trade union delegates;
  • elected members of the Social and Economic Committee (“SEC”);
  • trade union representatives before the SEC;
  • members of a special negotiating body;
  • members of a committee set up at European level.

The protection of the employee representatives is extended to employees standing for office and to former employee representatives.

Failure by the employer to observe this protection, as well as the rules governing the establishment and operation of staff representative institutions, is subject to civil and criminal sanctions.