BDES (Base de données économiques et sociales – Economic and Social DataBase), a unique tool for capitalizing on data
In the present context, and since the enactment of the 2013 Employment Security Act in France, companies must be able to justify the establishment of an active and updated Economic and Social Database (BDES) in accordance with the periodic obligations for which they are eligible (article R2323-1-2 of the Labour Code). The main purpose of this database is to create a real memory of the company in its internal organization and to keep an institutional record of the exchanges made and the strategies implemented.
Article L2312-18 of the Labour Code defines the BDES as “all the information necessary for consultations and recurring information that the employer makes available to the Social and Economic Committee (CSE – Comité Social et Economique)”. Modified in recent years by multiple decrees and newsletters, the new obligations to make information available in the database underline, however, a certain delay in the implementation of good practices by employers.
In other words, the BDES is a tool that the employer is responsible for establishing and keeping up to date for employee representatives with ALL information relating to the company’s main economic and social orientations. The database includes mandatory information that varies according to the number of employees in the company (more or less than 300 employees).
What’s new in 2019?
While new amendments are being made, in particular by the Initial Finance Law (LFI – Loi de Finances Initiale) of 2019, it is possible to observe the results of the first efforts made by companies to comply with the deadlines set by the law. Thus, by working towards the achievement of the objectives set out in the substantive criteria of the provision:
Accessibility is reinforced, in particular by making available in real-time to the persons concerned a digital version (mandatory for more than 300 employees), guaranteeing the general usefulness of the information. In addition, the employer is required to specify the terms and conditions for access to the BDES. So that elected officials are aware of the procedure for access to the content. Maintaining information in an up-to-date condition in order to meet the obligation to share information and notify publication.
LFI 2019 reaffirms the objectives of the etablishment of an economic and social database, namely:
- Remove any gender pay gap. Thanks to the obligation to publish the company’s results on the subject. Employee representatives now have a right to monitor the company’s results in favor of equal pay. The LFI agreement grants the smallest structures (less than 250 employees) an exceptional period of an additional year, while companies with at least 1000 employees had to comply since March 1st, 2019.
- Share and inform about the company’s situation. The BDES allows the sharing of performance indicators and the level of results observed each year. This is to provide the social partners with indications on the strategic orientation, the economic situation or the social policy of the company.
- Access to increased training: “All details useful for understanding the elements” Under cover of a very broad formula, the information necessary for understanding and decision-making must be integrated into the BDES, in order to provide, if necessary, clarifications of all kinds. In this case, it may be the methodology applied to the calculation of the indicators, or conversely, explanations of the reasons for the absence of an indicator, areas for improvement, etc. Also, since January 1st, 2019, the training plan has been integrated into the strategic guidelines and must propose a skills development plan.
- Responsibility of actors: This law itself gives, within a framework it sets, the possibility of negotiating a branch agreement or a company agreement specifying the rules to be followed on the establishment, content, and operation of the BDES for the benefit of the Social and Economic Committee (CSE – Le comité social et économique) members. Based on the reality of practices and the inclusion in the law of the possibilities of some negotiations settlements, the BDES illustrates the desire to make stakeholders accountable, based on the ground of another common law: “Special laws derogated from general laws”. Thus, the will of the parties prevails in the general framework to take into account certain specificities of each trade. And those negotiated in the company taking precedence over those negotiated in the branch. But this does not exempt companies from not providing the common core of mandatory information to be included in the Economic and Social Database.
Short-term assessment of the measure: implement a BDES easily and at a lower cost?
Today, it is difficult to establish precisely the number of companies that have not yet set up this database. However, it is encouraging to see, notably through the implementation of the BDES, that the initial results show an improvement in collaboration between employee representatives and companies and facilitate communication on measures taken to promote equality and development between employees.
If you are concerned by the BDES, VEDALIS offers you a solution that allows you to meet the requirements of the law while being simple to use, secure and economical.