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The Whistleblowing Directive: deadline approaches

16 November 2023 Miet Vanhegen Employers

The European Whistleblowing Directive now also applies in Belgium. Organisations with at least 50 employees have been required to set up an internal reporting system since 15 February 2023. Does your company’s workforce range from anywhere from 50 up to 249 employees? In that case, you still have until 17 December 2023 to set up a whistleblower  reporting channel.

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Belgian companies need to move quickly to implement

A recent survey shows that just 20% of Belgian companies are already compliant with the Whistleblowing Directive. Half of them are aware of the regulation but have yet to implement it. However, 31% do not know what the whistleblowing regulations entail, even though they have been in place since November 2022. Allow us to refresh your memory.

Why a whistleblower scheme is important

Why a whistle

Let’s start at the beginning: what exactly is a whistleblower? A whistleblower is someone who exposes wrongdoings in his (former) organisation. The new legislation requires you to set up reporting channels so that you can detect and deal with breaches of applicable legislation within private organisations at an early stage. At the same time, this provides effective protection for whistleblowers.

Who is a whistleblower?

  • (former) employees;
  • job seekers;
  • volunteers;
  • interns;
  • self-employed persons working at the company;
  • shareholders;
  • drivers;
  • persons working under the supervision and direction of (sub-)contractors and suppliers.

blower scheme is important

What should you provide as a company when setting up a whistleblowing policy?

To begin with, it is best to already start thinking where you will set it up in-house or rather outsource the scheme. Will there be a dedicated person watching over this policy? Which policy do you wish to implement at your company and how will you communicate the relevant information about the reporting channels for people?

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Written by Miet Vanhegen

Juridisch adviseur

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