by Elissa Vantomme and Ellen Verstraete
The whistleblower regulations are a set of measures to protect employees from reprisals if they report infringements of specific legislation or illegal activities within their organisation. These rules have been designed to protect the integrity of organisations, but how do you comply with these regulations as a company in the private sector? We’re glad to be able to explain it for you.
Companies have to set up an internal reporting channel so that employees can report breaches related to things like public procurement, environmental protection, privacy, public health and anti-money laundering. As soon as your company has more than 50 employees, you have to set up such a channel. If your organisation has more than 250 employees, then it must also be possible to make such a report in complete anonymity.
The law comes into force on 15th February 2023. Companies with more than 50 employees and less than 250 employees have a period of grace until 17 December 2023 (unless certain exceptional sectors).
We advise you in any case to prepare your company for the introduction of the reporting channel. This can be done in-house, but it can also be outsourced.
Companies that fail to comply with the above obligations regarding internal reporting, its registration and follow-up may face administrative penalties ranging from € 2,400 to € 24,000. Criminal sanctions are also possible.
Whistleblowers who do fall victim to reprisals are entitled to compensation ranging between 18 and 26 weeks’ pay. This compensation cannot be combined with any compensation for unfair dismissal. If the employee is not salaried, the compensation is set at the actual loss suffered.
If you have any questions about this new legislation, get in touch with one of our experts. They will be glad to help you.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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