The single economic and social database (or BDU / BDES) has been mandatory since June 14, 2014, in companies with more than 300 employees, and will be mandatory on June 14, 2015, for those with more than 50 employees. Introduced by the ANI and the law on job security, it must serve as a documentary base and to disseminate information to staff representatives (CE, CHSCT, union representatives).

If the text of the law lists the documents and the sections which must be present in the BDU, as well as the persons who must have access to them, it remains unclear as to the “physical” implementation of the single database. In addition, the multitude of sponsored offers appearing on Internet searches, coming from companies more or less specialized in document management, and at prices ranging from one extreme to another, accentuate the uncertainty of HRDs.

They, therefore, seemed useful to us to shed light on the situation and to take stock of the questions to be asked before choosing a solution for setting up a single database.


The first step is to count all the people who will need to have access to your company’s economic and social database. The members of the Works Council, those of the CHST, staff representatives, and union representatives are concerned. This is a very important first step because many of the solutions that have been created as if by magic bill per user, an attractive price can quickly turn out to be colossal if you have to give access to your BDU to a certain number of people …


According to the law, the BDU can have “paper or computer support”. Of course, the paper medium avoids you having to go through an external service provider, but the single database requires you to make available a large number of documents, from the current year, the two previous years … and the three years to come! In other words, thousands of documents, which will have to be printed, classified, and stored! This also raises the question of confidentiality and access rights: how to organize your BDU so that only the people concerned can access it? How to set up a physical device so that all users cannot have access to all documents? It should also be taken into account that the law stipulates that the BDU must be“permanently available to staff representatives” . Opting for a viable and proven IT solution for file sharing and document management ensures that you can exchange your documents in a secure manner and be able to finely manage the access rights to each document and for each user.


This question ties in with the previous one. When setting up a BDU, there is indeed the problem of the confidentiality of certain documents, which is difficult to manage by opting for a paper medium … If you choose the computer route, it It is essential to subscribe to an offer that allows you to finely manage the access rights to each file and each document. A union representative is not concerned by the same documents as a member of the works council or the CHSCT.


As said above, the legal obligation to set up an economic and social database has opened up a niche where a good number of companies have entered. It is therefore important to know the risks incurred and the problems that may be encountered by subscribing to a “screen” offer, developed in just a few days:

  • billing per user and incredible prices: to attract customers, these new offers have attractive prices, so you have to be careful about the notions of commitments and estimate what this will cost you in the long term. Beware of the words “2 months free” or “60 € for 3 months”, they often hide long commitment periods or much higher prices. Another point to check, the pricing per number of users, a price may seem very low, quite simply because it corresponds to an offer for 5 users only …
  • management of access rights and almost non-existent confidentiality: these solutions for BDU, often developed by companies whose main activity is totally outside computerized document management, have very limited functionalities. Some do not offer any possibility of managing user access rights and offer only very weak guarantees as to the security of your data. It is essential to be able to grant different rights according to the users: being able to authorize consultation only to certain people prevents malicious collaborators from downloading confidential documents and distributing them to third parties, your competitors for example. To go further, complete solutions allow you to have event logs, in order to
  • the reversibility of your data is impossible: you must also make sure that you can withdraw your documents from the chosen solution at any time! To do this, prefer a service in which you can share documents that you have written on your computer, and not directly entered in the BDU software to which you have subscribed.
  • no experience in document management and file sharing: many companies have taken up this new need. It’s up to you to check if they have experience in document sharing and computerized information exchange: the day you contact support, how your contact person will be able to respond to your problem if it is not. his job? Recognized experience and a proven solution will be a guarantee of reliability, know-how, and security for your documents. They will also reflect the robustness of the software published by the service provider: fluid and powerful use, and guaranteed operation as soon as the service is opened.
  • limited services for long-term use: setting up a BDU is laborious work, it is necessary to collect and classify numerous documents, create users, grant access rights according to the documents … Mind that once you have chosen a solution if it does not satisfy you and you wish to change provider, you will have to start this implementation process again. You might as well opt for a complete solution from the start. It must have sufficient storage capacity, and allow you to develop your offer over time: increase its storage volume, and the number of users, for example.

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