ANPMariëtte Hamer, government commissioner for transgressive behaviour, during a media moment at the National Archives.
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 06:00
Every company is obliged to arrange a confidential advisor, no matter how small that company is. That is the view of the government commissioner for sexually transgressive behaviour, Mariëtte Hamer. The issue will be discussed in the House of Representatives today.
One in six employees is confronted with undesirable behavior from colleagues or managers. Half of the organizations do not have a confidential adviser to report this to. The House of Representatives is currently discussing an initiative law by GroenLinks to oblige a confidential advisor. Hamer believes that this obligation should be introduced.
Hamer, previously chairman of the Social and Economic Council, was appointed government commissioner for three years last year. After the revelations of sexually transgressive behavior at The Voice of Holland, Ajax and the PvdA, the cabinet wants to make serious efforts to tackle these kinds of MeToo cases.
Hamer said earlier that a confidential adviser is very important and that enough hotlines alone will not solve the problem. The problem is deeply embedded in workplace culture, says Hamer. She believes that a confidential adviser can play a major role in this.
In the Chamber, the government parties VVD and CDA, among others, still have reservations about making a confidential adviser mandatory. The CDA says it will vote against the GroenLinks bill for the time being, if no exception is made for small companies.
The VVD also wants an exception for small companies. If such an exception becomes law, the VVD will make another assessment. The parties also consider the extra work and money for small businesses to be a problem.
GroenLinks is against an exception for small companies. It is precisely in those organizations that it is more difficult to discuss problems if something is wrong, according to GroenLinks.
If necessary through a union
Hamer also thinks the exception for small companies is not a good idea. “You all know each other there. If you don’t have a confidant there, you can’t go anywhere with your story. That’s very unsafe.” According to Hamer, companies with a small number of employees can also legally arrange the confidential adviser through, for example, a trade union. It is important that all employees have somewhere to go in all cases, says Hamer.
Hamer had actually expected that things would be less difficult in the House, because employers’ organizations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have now also indicated that they are in favor of the law. She hopes that the law can still count on a majority today.
How do internal and external confidential advisers work in the workplace?
Mandatory confidential advisers in the fight against transgressive behaviour