Quoted: Implementation of the European Whistleblowers Directive in Dutch Law
The Whistleblowers Authority Act (Wet Huis voor Klokkenluiders) has been in effect in the Netherlands since 1 July 2016. Under this legislation, those employers with no less than 50 employees, must have an internal procedure to allow any suspected misconduct to be reported.
In this respect, anyone who reports such suspicions must receive protection against detriment. In order to improve the protection afforded to whistleblowers, on 23 October 2019 the European Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, was introduced. This directive will be implemented in Dutch law. Although the duty to have an internal procedure has therefore existed for several years already under the Whistleblowers Authority Act, the implementation of the directive renders it necessary for employers to amend such procedure.
This article first considers the Whistleblowers Authority Act. The European directive and the bill which aims to implement the directive are then discussed and the role played by the works councils is also dealt with. Following this, attention is devoted to criticism which has been expressed in relation to the Bill. Lastly, a number of recommendations for employers are given.
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Hermine VoûtePartner Attorney at law
P. Hermine E. Voûte, attorney at law, is member of the Employment & Benefits practice group in the Netherlands and chairwoman of the Diversity & Inclusion committee. She has over 33 years’ all-round experience in employment law, with a particular focus on high-profile dismissals, restructurings and collective dismissals, and co-determination procedures.T: +31 20 578 59 75 E: [email protected]