Better protection for whistleblowers

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
< 1 min read
Nederlandse versie
Effective date: 17 December 2023

What has changed?

Do you have 50 to 249 employees? Whistleblowers working for SMEs are better protected when they report:

  • suspected misconduct
  • violation of European Union law

Whistleblowers who have been wronged no longer have to prove that they were disadvantaged because of their report. The burden of proof has shifted to the employer. The employer has to prove the disadvantage is not related to the reporting of the (suspected) misconduct or violation.

Where disadvantaging of employees formerly meant only disadvantaging in legal position, such as:

  • suspension
  • dismissal
  • demotion
  • withholding of promotion
  • wage cut
  • change in place of work

The ban on disadvantaging whistleblowers now includes all forms of disadvantaging whistleblowers, for instance:

  • blacklisting
  • refusal to give recommendations
  • bullying
  • intimidation
  • exclusion

The range of people protected has been expanded to include tot only employees and officials, but also volunteers, interns, self-employed/freelancers (zzp'ers), (sub)contractors, shareholders, and (job) applicants.

There will also be a ban on non-disclosure clauses (confidentiality clauses) for whistleblower reports (in Dutch).

Do you employ more than 50 people? You are obliged to have a notification procedure in place. This notification procedure will be subject to stricter requirements (in Dutch).

For whom?

  • companies with 50 to 249 employees


The articles 2, 2a and 2b of the Whistleblowers Protection Act applies to companies with 50 to 249 employees since 17 December 2023. The Whistleblowers Protection Act has already entered into force on 18 February 2023 for large companies.

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