Social mandate leave is granted to public- and private-sector employees so that they can carry out their mandate as a member of a professional chamber, a social security body or institution, as an assessor for the employment tribunal or as an assessor/insured and assessor/employer for social security jurisdictions. The employees in question must inform their employer each time they are called to fulfil their duties under their mandate.
Special social mandate leave comprises a maximum of 4 hours work for each meeting or for each hearing of social security institutions or jurisdictions.
Employers are entitled to reimbursement for the worker's gross pay, plus employer's contribution, from the institution in question.
Social mandate leave is granted to those carrying out paid work under the supervision of another person in the public or private sector and carrying out a mandate as:
- members of a professional chamber;
- members of a body in a social security institution (e.g. council of arbitration, etc.);
- Labour Tribunal assessors;
- assessors/insured and assessors/employers for social security jurisdictions (Social Security Arbitration Tribunal – Conseil arbitral de la sécurité sociale – CASS and High Council of Social Security – Conseil supérieur de la sécurité sociale – CSSS).
Leave on the grounds of a social mandate can only be taken by the persons concerned in order to carry out specific tasks directly related to the fulfilment of their mandate.
Informing the employer
The employees concerned must inform their employer orally or in writing each time they are called to fulfil their duties under their mandate. During the social mandate leave, employees receive full pay and are allowed to leave their workplace to fulfil their mandate.
Employees entitled to social mandate leave receive a form from the president of the institution or jurisdiction in question, which must be sent to their employer so that reimbursement can be requested (for the employees' absences). The accuracy of the information provided in the form is certified by the applicant's signature.
Amount of social mandate leave
Special social mandate leave comprises a maximum of 4 hours' work for each meeting or for each hearing of the aforementioned institutions or jurisdictions.
The maximum number of hours work applies to the members and assessors in question when they have a full-time job.
Where they are only employed on a part-time basis, the maximum number of hours of social mandate leave granted is adjusted in proportion to their working hours.
Payment of benefit
Salaried members and assessors (public and private sector)
Beneficiaries of social mandate leave continue to receive their normal salary plus the advantages linked to their professional activity throughout their leave period.
After their employees have taken social mandate leave, employers must submit applications for reimbursement to the institution or jurisdiction in question by 31 March of the year following that for which the reimbursement is requested. Should the application for reimbursement fail to be submitted by that date, entitlement to reimbursement for the year in question is forfeited.
Non-salaried members and assessors (self-employed workers)
Non-salaried members and assessors engaged in professional occupations are compensated for the time that they spend fulfilling their mandates. The hourly rate is set at double the social minimum wage for skilled workers.
Interested parties are paid compensation once a year by the professional chamber, social security institution or jurisdiction in question, based on a declaration to be submitted to said institution/jurisdiction, by 31 March of the year following that for which the compensation is requested.
Should the application for compensation fail to be submitted by that date, the right to compensation for the year in question is forfeited. The application is made using a form that each interested party receives from the president of the institution or jurisdiction in question. The interested party completes and signs the declaration and request for payment.
Social mandate leave and working relations
Social mandate leave is considered to be effective working time. During the period of leave, the beneficiary's situation with regard to social security and job protection is unchanged. Social mandate leave cannot be counted against an employee's annual leave entitlement. Beneficiaries of social mandate leave continue to receive their normal salary plus the advantages that are linked to their professional activity, throughout their leave period.
The fact of employees taking time off work to perform this role does not give employers the right to terminate employment contracts prematurely.