A whistleblower exposes abuses in a company or organization. Employees who consider raising matters often have doubts about whether or not they should do so. Experience shows that acting as a whistleblower can have serious consequences for the whistleblower himself, for his further career and for his family. A good Whistleblower Policy aims to eliminate this risk and to guarantee a safe workplace where abuses are not swept under the carpet.
Netherlands Employers with 50 employees or more must have a whistleblower policy that meets the legal requirements. If an abuse is reported, the employer investigates the abuse in the manner described in the Whistleblower Policy and takes measures if necessary. The idea is that the Whistleblower Policy lowers the threshold and prevents escalation due to long silence about abuses.
The mandatory Whistleblower Policy is part of the Dutch House for Whistleblowers Act. The purpose of the law is to improve the conditions for reporting social abuse within organizations in the Netherlands, by making it possible to investigate abuse and better protect the reporting of abuse. The employer needs the approval of the works council to determine and change the Whistleblower Policy.
Your whistleblower policy describes how the organization deals with reporting a suspicion of abuse. You must include the following points in your policy:
The starting point of the law is that suspicions of wrongdoing are first reported and treated internally. If the suspicion has not been properly treated, an employee can then turn to the Whistleblower House.
A good employer promotes a corporate culture within which abuses are prevented and takes measures that reduce the chance of incidents and reduce risks. A good whistleblower policy helps to create such culture. Employers often do not have to design the whistleblower scheme themselves, but can use a model developed and kept up-to-date by the sector, such as the model of the Healthcare Sector Organizations or the model scheme for Housing Associations.
But even after a report, the situation can escalate quickly. What is the right strategy then? Consult a specialized lawyer. We are happy to assist you if your organization is confronted with a report that can have far-reaching consequences. You can always come to us to discuss the approach. Based on an exploratory meeting you can decide whether you want to work with us. We are happy to help you if matters become complex and you need external expertise. Our motto is not for nothing: "Your problem, our concern."
Hein Kernkamp will gladly help you further.