Company committee: setting up, functioning.

The works council will be replaced permanently by the social and economic committee on 1 January 2020, the CSE is intended to replace the three former company bodies.The provisions relating to the works council cease to have effect from the date of the first round of elections for members of the CSE staff delegation. 

Definition of the works committee

 The company committee It is a council made up of the head of the company, elected members of the staff and a representative of the workers' trade unions to defend their interests.The works council is a major player in the life of a company. It represents all the employees of a company.The creation of a works council is compulsory from 50 employees in a structure.The company committee has a social, economic and cultural role for the proper functioning of the company. 

What is a company committee made up of?

Compulsory from 50 employees, The functions are assigned by the staff representatives.the company committee is made up of:

  From the company director

  Staff representatives

  Representatives of trade union organizations

The head of the company chairs the works council but he can choose another member of staff to replace him according to the article L2325-1 of the labour code. Usually it is the human resources director, administrative and financial director. The person who replaces the head of the company as chairman of the company committeemust be able to perform its duties.

 How are works committee elections conducted?

 Works councils are set up by the head of the company

The electors

The voters are the employees of the company. Including all contracts whether it is a CDD, CDI or a temporary contract.To be eligible for election to a company committee you must have been with the company for at least 3 months.However, there is an exception to this rule. If most of the employees in a company have less than three months' service, the period can be reduced to allow a large number of employees to vote.The works council is the representative body of the workforce. Defends the rights and interests of employees in relation to the head of the company.Voters must be at least 16 years old and without a criminal conviction depriving them of their right to vote.

The elected representatives of the works council

Candidates for the works committee elections must meet certain criteria:

  • Namely to be eligible as a voter.
  •     Be at least 18 years old in order to be part of the company committee.
  • Have at least one year's seniority in the company.
  • Not be related to the entrepreneur.

 What is the role of a works council?

The main role of a works council is to defend the interests of employees and their families and to establish social and cultural operations. It also deals with the social dialogue within the company. Improve the working conditions of employees while ensuring that their rights are respected.

 Social and cultural activity

The works council (CE) is responsible for managing the social and cultural activities of employees. These activities include holiday vouchers, holiday rentals with considerable discounts for the whole family. Thanks to the company's works council, employees can get discounts at the cinema, from corporate gifts, the mutual….However, the establishment of social and cultural activities is not mandatory. The latter is set up mainly to improve the working conditions of employees so that they can develop their professional life within the company. 

Legal rules to be observed for cultural and social activities

      Ideological neutrality of the activity, i.e. no activities related to religion or politics to avoid excluding a certain number of employees

        LThe absence of discrimination at all points between employees

 Work organization

The works council also looks after the smooth running of the company. The works council must be consulted on company projects, changes in work organisation, redundancies, etc., but their opinion remains advisory. 

The forward planning of employment and skills (GPEC) economic management and development project 

How long is the term of office of works council members

The elected members of the works committee are elected for a renewable period of 4 years. The functions of a member of the works council may end following a breach of contract, whether it be a resignation, dismissal, contractual termination or any other means terminating the employment contract.Any loss of the conditions of eligibility will put an end to the mandate as well as a death. The mandate can be revoked by the electoral majority to which it belongs.In these different cases, the member of the works committee will be replaced by an alternate on the present list of the same organization. Each member of the works council is allocated a number of hours to carry out their duties. This credit is 20 hours per month per member. These hours are paid and considered as working time.Overtime beyond 20 hours in the event of an unexpected circumstance; for example a strike, alert movement ...Overtime will be paid with a supporting document.

 What are the obligations of a works council? 

The members of the works committee THIS are obliged to maintain discretion with regard to confidential information, economic and financial situation of the company that they have in their knowledge. They are bound by professional secrecy. The works council has an obligation to inform the employees about the internal regulations, the evolution of the employee structure and any other information concerning them.

 What are the advantages of a works council

 The works council is set up to motivate employees; it is an effective way of getting them to invest more in the company, by offering them activities at a lower cost thanks to the works council benefits. Discounts ranging from 10 to 60 % cheaper on various social and cultural activities. Among the advantages of the works council are corporate committee gifts, free legal consultations, meal tickets, cinema tickets and ticketing at reduced prices.The works council works to defend the interests of the employees on all points, i.e. works council gift cards at the end of the year. For example at Christmas or at the annual party.Firms assigned corporate gifts to their employees in order to celebrate festive and joyful moments together. Some companies offer birth certificates to employees who have just become parents in order to accompany them in this new stage of their lives. It is a way to be present in the personal life of employees, they will feel valued and considered by the employer thanks to the company committee gifts.They will therefore be more productive and more invested in their work within the company. Simple gestures that have more than satisfactory results in terms of management.Among the benefits to be offered are countless activities in which employees can participate, such as team outings or alone with their families. It should be noted that an employee can provide some of the benefits to which he or she is entitled to his or her family; family is defined as those members of the employee's immediate family who have a direct relationship.The larger the company's workforce, the greater the benefits because the operating budget for this gift will be that much larger.Small businesses will be granted advantages such as restaurant tickets, holiday vouchers, etc.

 What is the works council's right to alert

 The warning right allows the works council to intervene when it notices that the economic and social situation of the company is threatened. When the Works Council has in its possession elements that considerably affect the economic situation of the company, and the company agreements. It must exercise a right of economic alert. From that moment on they can ask the employer for explanations in relation to the elements found.However, if they are unable to obtain the information they require on the economic situation of the company or if the employer admits to economic difficulties, they can draw up a report, if necessary with the help of a chartered accountant.The works council has the right to choose two employees from outside the company with a quota of 5 hours each to help draw up the report. However, the elected members of the works council can also call in the auditor. All the information provided remains confidential. Various situations can trigger the works council warning procedure. These include the irregularity of the number of meetings or the failure to hold meetings of the works council,  A considerable drop in the company's turnover can trigger an alert because the serenity of the employees' jobs would be put at risk. The works council also has the right to issue a social alert if it notices an increase in fixed-term or temporary contracts and their misuse.

 How is the works council budget financed? 

The head of the company finances the works council's budget through different subsidies, namely an operating subsidy and a subsidy for social and cultural activities. 

EC operating budget

Operating grants are given by the employer to ensure the operation of equipment and to pay employees to organise their committee meetings.A room must be allocated to them so that they can perform their function.The EC operating budget Corresponds to 0.2 % of the company's payroll. The amount taken from the EC operating budget is 0.22% for large ESCs. 

The budget for social and cultural activities

the operating budget this gift aims to set up activities to choose gifts for employees.The head of the company is free to give the budget he or she wishes for the organisation and implementation of social and cultural activities for employees.For this reason, the benefits can vary considerably from one company to another. 

New reform in relation to the works committee 

Since January 2018 all companies with more than 11 employees have a economic social committee CSE or will soon have a CSE by 1 January 2020 at the latest.The CSE is the consequence of the Macron ordinance on labour code reforms.The CSE is the merger of different bodies that defend the rights of employees, the staff delegate (DP), the works council (CE) and a committee for health, safety and working conditions (CHSCT).The new committee aims to negotiate and sign a collective agreement under certain conditions.Trade union delegates lose their ability to conclude collective agreements within the ETUC. They will be negotiated by the works council. However, the union delegates have a right of veto over the collective life and the employer must take this into account.The aim of this new reform is to simplify the life of the company, its development and its negotiations.The social and economic committee (CSE) thus provides a single contact person within the company.

Gift idea for works council

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