Since 18 February 2023, the Whistleblowers Protection Act (Wbk) has entered (partially) into force for private employers with more than 250 employees. As of 17 December 2023, the aforementioned legislation will also apply to employers with 50-249 employees. Some parts of the Wbk still need to be worked out in further regulations via a governmental decree (AMvB) and will enter into force at a later date. These include the method of anonymous reporting to the employer and the options for sanctioning the House for Whistleblowers.
During the summer period, several developments occurred regarding the Wbk:
- Rijksoverheid has published an English translation of the Wbk and published a FAQ with answers to frequently asked questions from employers about the Wbk;
- Outgoing Minister Bruins Slot responded on 3 July to the further questions asked by the House of Representatives last April on the Wbk. These further questions and answers concern, among other things, confidentiality clauses, the concept of “abuse” (misstand) and the competent authorities to which an external report can be made.
- On July 6, outgoing Minister Bruins Slot sent a parliamentary letter to the House of Representatives. In this letter, the House of Representatives was informed about the proposal for a fund for legal and psychosocial support for whistleblowers, the status of follow-up legislation and further regulations, and the progress of the safe working and reporting climate campaign (in that context, see also the brochure “Communication about integrity in organizations” dated August 18. The aforementioned parliamentary letter can be found here and was discussed and explained in more detail during a Committee debate of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs of the Lower House.
Author: Annemeijne Zwager