Dutch Whistleblowers
Protection Act

The Dutch Whistleblowers Protection Act entered into force on 18 February 2023. This new Act replaces former legislation. The new Act stems from a European directive that aims to better protect whistleblowers. The law applies to organizations that have at least 50 employed persons. There are exceptions to this, i.e., financial services organizations.

An employer that has 50 or more employees must implement an internal reporting procedure.The new law provides for stricter requirements with respect to the reporting procedure.

What should be included in the internal reporting procedure?

  • How the employer will handle the report internally.
  • When abuse is suspected (with due observance of the definitions provided therefor in the Whistleblowers Protection Act).
  • The manner in which an employee can file a report: in person, in writing, orally by telephone or another voice message system or at their request within a reasonable period of time by having an on-site meeting.
  • The independent officers designated to receive the reports (these can also be external officers).
  • The officers who will follow up on the reports.
  • The employee’s right to consult an advisor in confidence.
  • The person reporting will receive confirmation of receipt of the report within seven days.
  • Within a reasonable term of no longer than three months the person reporting will be provided with information about the follow up of the report.
  • The employer may decide to open up the internal reporting procedure to persons who are not employees, but do perform work-related activities for the employer (for example, former employees, shareholders, customers).

So, what should an employer do?

  • The employer must set up a channel where reports can be received ensuring that the identities of the reporter and of the third parties involved remain confidential and that it is accessible only to employees authorised in this respect.
  • The employer must inform the employees in writing or electronically about::
    • The internal reporting procedure;
    • How suspected abuse can be reported externally;
    • The right of an employee to have legal protection when reporting suspected abuse.
  • The employer must obtain the consent of the Works Council, collective labor agreement parties, staff representatives or employees regarding the reporting procedure.
  • Due registration of reports of suspected abuse in a register set up for this purpose.
  • Reports made by telephone or in an on-site meeting by recording the discussion in a permanent and retrievable form (with the prior consent of the person reporting) or a complete and accurate written record of the discussion.
  • Ensure confidentiality of the reporter’s identity details.

In the future, anonymous reporting will be mandatory. This legal obligation has been postponed for the time being.

How can TrusTool help your organization?

We can assist in the advising and drafting of the entire internal reporting procedure. TrusTool can be used as a reporting channel to receive the reports and send the confirmation of receipt. If necessary and after  discussion with the person reporting, the report can be forwarded to the designated officers for further investigation.

When must an organization comply with the Whistleblowers Protection Act?

An employer that has 250 or more employees is obliged to comply with the new legislation. Employers that have more than 50 but less than 250 employees have until 17 December 2023 to implement a new internal reporting procedure.

More information?

Do not hesitate to contact us. Other relevant websites with more information are: