- Annemarie Pierik
We can provide your company, be it a financial or a non-financial, with the services of an external confidant. Our external confidants are highly trained professionals, both in the area of integrity, as on matters of undesirable conduct. Besides this, we can advise and support you when establishing an entire whistleblower program.
Why an external confidant?
Since July 2016 it is mandatory for companies with fifty employees or more to have an internal procedure regarding the reporting of suspected wrongdoings or irregularities; also called ‘the whistleblower procedure’. However, it is also recommended for smaller companies to implement such a procedure.
A well designed procedure:
- stimulates a safe environment for employees;
- prevents employees from blowing the whistle outside the company;
- contributes to a company culture of integrity.
Based on the Law House of Whistleblowers (Wet Huis voor klokkenluiders), employees from companies with fifty employees or more also have the legal right to confidential consultations with an advisor, like a confidant, regarding any suspected wrongdoing.
A confidant contributes additional value to the whistleblower procedure: the confidant offers support to all employees who want to report an issue, and thereby helps to prevent the (external) escalation of any (suspected) problem. Past experiences show that a potential reporter of a suspected wrongdoing will seek confidential and professional support, when considering to file an official notification. For this reason a confidant is strongly recommended.
Especially for smaller companies an external confidant can be a practical solution. In this regard, various aspect are important:
- the external confidant has experience and expertise,
- is independent, and
- has an objective opinion.
More and more, larger companies also decide to appoint an external confidant, sometimes in combination with one or more internal confidants. This offers employees a wider range of choices, when they want to talk about issues which are sensitive by nature.
The tasks of the confidant
- offers employees a safe environment to talk about matters of concern, or to ask advice on (suspected) wrongdoings or undesirable behaviour;
- listens to the employee and gives room for expressing emotions;
- analyses the problem together with the employee, and helps the employee to find his own way in dealing with the matter; whether the outcome will be an official notification or otherwise. Starting point is, that the problem should preferably be solved within the company. If required, the confidant can do the official reporting on behalf of the employee;
- offers further support and guides the employee throughout the process;
- has an advisory role towards the management of the company, and an informative role towards all employees of the company.
Click here for an extended list of tasks and responsibilities of the confidant.
What can we offer to you?
We offer the role of external confidant on a subscription base. This subscription provides for a minimum number of hours at a fixed annually fee. If in total more than the minimum number of hours per year have been spent, the additional hours will be billed afterwards, at a rate of € 170 per hour.
For this fee the confidant:
- will meet with management, at least once per year;
- makes himself known to the employees, once per year;
- aligns relevant policies with the compliancefunction;
- advises management and compliance, both solicited and unsolicited;
- reports to management on the number of meetings with employees and working hours.
An entire Whistleblower Program
As it turns out, quite often more is needed than simply appointing a confidant and implementing a reporting procedure. Not only the commitment from top-management, but also the company culture, the awareness amongst employees, and the availability of information are at least as important.
We can advise and support you when establishing an entire new program, in order to further promote the internal reporting. We support not only companies, but trade associations as well.
Are you interested and would you like more information? Please contact us; we are happy to help you!
Wilt u meer informatie? Neem contact met ons op.
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