The importance of training for employees elected to the Social Economic Committee

Le social and economic committee (CSE) is the staff representative body within companies with at least 11 employees. Since 2018, it has replaced the works council (CE) and the health, safety and health committee. working conditions (CHSCT). Its members are elected for four years.

Training obligations

The CSE is in charge of protection of employees' interests. In 2021, 79,5% of employees in the non-agricultural private sector benefited from at least one staff representative body (1). To achieve this, members must be made aware and trained in order to fully and effectively exercise their functions throughout the mandate. It is even an obligation imposed by the legislator.

Such obligations vary depending on the company size. If the workforce has less than fifty employees, mandatory CSE training, lasting a maximum of five days, will provide basic knowledge to elected officials in terms of management and business economics. If the company has more than fifty employees, additional training will be necessary. It will focus on the Health at work, safety and working conditions (SSCT).

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If the workforce is less than 300 employees, the duration of the latter will be three days maximum. Beyond this limit, it will increase to five days. This extension will make it possible to address additional themes such as employee rights or professional equality within the company.

Who funds them?

Training required by law must be covered by theBRAND. The others will have to be financed by the CSE itself, via its operating budget. This will be used in particular to settle:

  • the fees of the training organization
  • the costs of elected officials
  • fees for trainers

It is defined each year by the body and therefore allows each member to have an envelope allowing them to train.

This training time is considered a real work time. As such, the salary and rights of the elected official concerned will be maintained. They remain free to choose the training organization they wish. Under no circumstances will the employer be able to intervene on this point. Finally, to have a complete overview of the subject, please also note that substitute members of the CSE are also affected by these training obligations.

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Can the employer refuse this financing?

The Labor Code provides that “economic and social training and union training leave is a right”. However, the employer may object if he considers that this could have detrimental repercussions on the operation of his business.

To avoid such refusal, it remains strongly recommended to transmit in writing training requests from CSE members to management. These must be communicated at least thirty days before the start of the training. They must also specify all the terms and conditions linked to it:

  • start and end dates
  • contact details of the training organization
  • total cost

Better defend employee rights

The merger of the former staff representative bodies (CE and CHSCT) makes the task of CSE elected officials even more complex. Their scope of intervention has in fact become wider since 2019, the year the new body came into force. Consequently, in 2023, almost three quarters of the CSEs had to be renewed (2).

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Only training allows newly elected members to fully assume all the responsibilities entrusted to them. It also promotes better communication with company management and its representatives while participating in the creation of a healthy and productive work environment. This environment will be favorable to better defense of the rights and interests of the company’s employees.




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