“The trusted person in any company that needs to be regulated by policy”

No matter how small the company is, every company is obliged to appoint a person they trust. This is how Mariëtte Hamer, the government commissioner for sexually abusive behavior sees it. The issue will be discussed in Parliament today.

One in six employees encounters unwanted behavior from their colleagues or superiors. Half of the organizations don’t have a confidential adviser to report this. The House of Representatives is currently debating a GroenLinks bill to keep a secret adviser. Hamer believes that this requirement should be introduced.

Hamer, who was previously chairman of the Social and Economic Council, was appointed government commissioner for a three-year term last year. Following statements about sexually abusive behavior in The Voice of Holland, Ajax and PvdA, the cabinet wants to make serious efforts to resolve such MeToo cases.

Hamer had previously said that a store representative is crucial and that adequate hotlines alone will not solve the problem. Hamer says the problem is deeply rooted in work culture. He believes a covert counselor could play a big part in this.

In the chamber, the ruling parties VVD and CDA, among others, still have reservations about appointing a mandatory representative. The CDA says it will vote against GroenLinks’ bill for now, unless an exception is made for small businesses.

VVD also asks for an exception for small companies. If such an exception becomes legal, the VVD will make a new assessment. The parties also see additional work and money as a problem for small businesses.

GroenLinks opposes the small business exemption. It’s precisely in these organizations that it’s harder to discuss issues when something goes wrong, according to GroenLinks.

By industry if needed

Hamer also doesn’t think the exception is a good idea for small companies. “They all know each other there. If you don’t have a confidant there, you have nowhere to go with your story. This is very insecure.” According to Hamer, companies with a small number of employees can also legally appoint confidential advisers, for example through a professional association. Hamer says it’s important for all employees to have a point of contact.

Hamer had originally hoped that things would be less difficult at home, because now employers’ associations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have also spoken in favor of the law. He hopes the law can still rely on the majority today.

How do internal and external confidants work in the workplace? The news clock shows this:

Source: NOS

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