• New Whistleblowing Law
  • November 9, 2016 | Authors: Chantal Biernaux; Mariëlle E.B.C. Daudt; Markus Kappenhagen; Georg Mikes; Mark Taylor
  • Law Firms: Jones Day - Brussels Office ; Jones Day - Amsterdam Office ; Jones Day - Düsseldorf Office ; Jones Day - Frankfurt am Main Office ; Jones Day - London Office
  • Summer 2016 saw the new Dutch Whistleblowing Act (Wet Huis voor klokkenluiders) ("Act") enter into effect. Under this Act, an employer who employs 50 or more employees is obliged to adopt a whistleblowing policy. The policy must (at least) set out: (i) how internal reporting of wrongdoing is addressed; (ii) the definition of what is regarded as wrongdoing; and (iii) the officers to whom wrongdoing can be reported.

    Furthermore, the policy should enable employees to report wrongdoing confidentially and to obtain legal advice. The employer must also inform employees in writing when wrongdoing may be disclosed externally and about the anti-retaliation provisions in the Act. The implementation of the whistleblowing policy requires the works council's prior consent.

    In addition to the introduction of a mandatory whistleblowing policy, the Act creates an independent government institution known as the "House for Whistleblowers". The House can advise employees who wish to report wrongdoing. Furthermore, the House has the power to investigate wrongdoing as well as any retaliatory action taken against the employee. The House has wide-ranging investigative powers.

    Finally, the Act introduces anti-retaliation measures for employees who have disclosed wrongdoing in good faith. Any form of retaliation against those employees is prohibited.