Under the Working Conditions Act (NL: Arbowet Article 3 paragraph 2), an Employer is obliged to implement a policy aimed at preventing or limiting Undesirable Behavior. Undesirable Behavior includes Sexual Harassment, Aggression and Violence, Bullying, and Discrimination.
The purpose of this protocol is to provide support and resources to an individual Employee who is confronted with Undesirable Behavior and to provide means to end the undesirable situation for him/her. This protocol also aims to prevent arbitrary and careless treatment of Undesirable Behavior within the organization, certainly also with regard to the person(s) who are accused of Undesirable Behavior.
For the purposes of this protocol, the following definitions shall apply:
a. Employer: Icecat N.V. and subsidiaries.
b. Management (Board): the management of the Employer.
c. Employee: the employee appointed by the Employer and anyone who is or has been employed by the Employer as an intern, temporary worker, on-call worker or otherwise.
d. Confidential Advisor: the confidant to whom the person who is confronted with Undesirable Behavior can turn at any time for a listening ear, consultation, advice and support.
e. Reporter: the (former) Employee who wants to talk / consult with the Confidential Advisor about (possibly) Undesirable Behavior or wants to discuss / share / submit a report or Complaint about Undesirable Behavior with the Confidential Advisor.
f. Complaints Committee: the complaints committee for Undesirable Behavior, to which the Complainant can turn with a Complaint about Undesirable Behavior.
g. Complaint: a document signed by the Complainant and provided with name and address details, in which the Undesirable Behavior towards him/her to which the Complaint relates is described.
h. Complainant: the (former) Employee of the Employer who submits a Complaint to the Complaints Committee.
i. Defendant: an Employee against whom a Complaint has been filed.
j. Those Directly Involved: the Complainant(s) and Defendant(s).
k. Personnel Representation: the Employer’s Staff Representation.
l. Undesirable Behavior: anything that includes Sexual Harassment, Aggression and Violence, Bullying and/or Discrimination.
m. Sexual Harassment: any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct with a sexual content that has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the person, in particular when a threatening, hostile, abusive, humiliating or hurtful situation is created.
n. Aggression and Violence: incidents in which an Employee is psychologically or physically harassed, threatened or attacked, under circumstances directly related to the performance of the work.
o. Bullying: all forms of intimidating behavior with a structural character, by one or more Employees (colleagues, managers) directed against an Employee or a group of Employees who cannot or cannot defend themselves against this behavior.
p. Discrimination: making a direct or indirect distinction, subject to the exceptions provided for in equal treatment legislation.
A person is treated differently from how another person is, has been or would be treated person in a similar situation is, on the basis of:
A seemingly neutral provision, criterion or practice particularly affecting persons of a particular religion, belief, political affiliation, race, sex, nationality, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or persons with disabilities, chronic illness, type of employment contract or fixed working hours.
An Employee who believes that he/she is the victim of undesirable behaviour by a third party can submit a Complaint orally or in writing to his/her direct supervisor, to a P&O or HR employee or to the Confidential Advisor. The Employee can be assisted by the Confidential Advisor.
a. The Management Board shall appoint – after consulting the proposed person(s) themselves, one independent, preferably female, Confidential Advisor for a period of four years.
b. The Management Board may remove the Confidential Adviser from his/her position as Confidential Adviser:
i. At the request of the Confidential Advisor;
ii. When the Confidential Advisor leaves the Employer’s service (of course this only applies to internal confidential advisers);
iii. If complaints from Employees about the functioning of the Confidential Advisor give rise to this, and then only after an interview with the Confidential Advisor and after consultation with the Personnel Representation.
In any case, the Confidential Advisor has the following tasks:
a. Taking care of Reporters who have been confronted with Undesirable Behavior in their work, hearing their story, providing advice and support.
b. Informing Reporters about the various avenues open to resolve the problem or to file a Complaint about the matter.
c. Assisting Reporters if the Reporter wishes to have the case mediated or raised with the Complaints Committee, or in the event of a crime, to report it to the police.
d. The possible referral of Reporting Persons to external experts in the relevant field.
e. Advising the Management Board, personnel representatives or other persons within the organization in the field of prevention and control of Undesirable Behavior.
f. Providing information and publicity within the company about its own function with regard to Undesirable Behavior.
g. Registering Reports and Complaints and reporting anonymously on this to the Management Board and Personnel Representation every year.
h. Keeping secret at the request of the Reporter any information or details that the Reporter does not wish to share.
The Confidential Advisor gets the necessary time, facilities and training to carry out the required work properly.
The Management Board – in consultation with the Personnel Representation – sets up an internal Complaints Committee.
a. The Complaints Committee consists of three members:
i. a permanent chairman;
ii. a permanent secretary
iii. a permanent member.
b. Members shall not form part of the Employer’s competent authority.
c. The Complaints Committee has demonstrable legal expertise and demonstrable expertise in the field of Undesirable Behavior, as well as a more or less proportional representation of women and men.
d. All members of the Complaints Committee each have their own permanent replacement.
e. The members of the Committee may have no personal interest in the handling of the Complaint and may not be involved in the Complaint, the Reporter or the Defendant.
The Complaints Committee has the following tasks:
a. investigating Complaints about Undesirable Behavior by one or more Employees;
b. conducting of adversarial hearings;
c. advising the Management Board on the admissibility and merits of the Complaint and the measures to be taken;
d. registering the nature and extent of the Complaints received and reporting annually to the Management Board and Personnel Representation.
a. The Complaints Committee:
i. gives the Complainant and Defendant the opportunity to be heard;
ii. may proceed to hear from Employees and supervisors;
iii. may proceed to the hearing of relevant persons other than those referred to in points (a) and (b).
b. The hearing of the Complainant may be waived if the Complainant has stated that he does not wish to exercise the right to be heard.
c. The Complaints Committee does not provide third parties with information about the Complaint and/or the complaint handling unless permission has been given by Those Directly Involved, except to the Management Board.
a. The members of the Complaints Committee and their replacements are offered the necessary facilities and training to be able to perform their work.
b. The Complaints Committee meets at such a location that the Complainant, the Defendant, Those Directly Involved and Employees can be heard without other Employees becoming aware of this.
Every year, the Complaints Committee issues an anonymous report to the Management Board and Personnel Representation on the number and nature of the Complaints dealt with, as well as the nature of the advice given.
a. The Employee who is confronted with Undesirable Behavior can turn to the Confidential Advisor and/or submit a Complaint in writing to the Complaints Committee. The latter is only possible when it comes to Undesirable Behavior by another Employee.
b. Anonymous Complaints cannot be processed by the Complaints Committee. Anonymous Complaints can be discussed with the Confidential Advisor.
c. The Complaints Committee may decide not to deal with Complaints submitted later than two years after the (last) event to which the Complaint relates occurred.
Any person who acquires knowledge of confidential information in any way within the framework of these regulations shall be obliged to maintain its confidentiality.
a. The Complaint must be submitted to the Complaints Committee via Aletta van Bentum.
b. The Complaint contains a description of the confrontation with Undesirable Behavior, with (if possible) indication of the date, time, place, circumstances, the content of the behavior, the description of (possibly) the steps already taken by the Complainant, the name, function and place of work of the Defendant and indication of any witnesses and any evidence.
c. The Complaint must bear the signature, name, address, position and place of work of the Complainant must bear the date.
d. The Complainant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the submitted Complaint within one week.
e. The Complaint may be submitted jointly by several persons.
a. The Complaints Committee assesses the admissibility of the submitted Complaint. A Complaint is inadmissible if it does not fall within the definitions of these regulations.
b. If the Complaint is inadmissible, it shall inform the Complainant thereof in writing as soon as possible and no later than four weeks after receipt of the Complaint with a copy to the Management.
a. The Complaint does not have to be processed if it has been submitted later than two years after the (last) event to which the Complaint relates took place, or if it relates to a conduct about which a Complaint has already been submitted and dealt with in compliance with this regulation. Furthermore, the Committee cannot deal with the Complaint if there is a concurrence with decisions open to appeal or an investigation, or if the interest of the Complainant or the weight of the conduct is manifestly insufficient.
b. The Complainant will be informed in writing of the failure to deal with the Complaint as soon as possible but no later than four weeks after receipt of the Complaint, with a copy to the Management.
a. If the Complaint is dealt with, the Complaints Committee will send a copy of the Complaint to the Defendant.
b. In principle, the Complaints Committee hears the Complainant and the Defendant outside each other’s presence. The Committee gives the Complainant and the Accused the opportunity to hear and respond to each other’s views.
c. If the Complaints Committee deems this necessary, it will hear witnesses and/or other persons, whether or not at the request of the Complainant/Defendant.
d. A report shall be made of each hearing at which the Complainant, the Defendant or others are heard. Everyone who has been heard must sign the report part of his/her contribution for approval. If a person refuses, the reason for this refusal shall be recorded on the report.
e. Before the investigation by the Complaints Committee is completed, the Complainant and the Defendant are given access to the reports and an opportunity to respond to them.
f. The Complainant and the Defendant may, at their own expense, be assisted at the hearing by counsel.
g. The hearings of the Complaints Committee are not open to the public.
h. The Management Board provides the Complaints Committee with all requested information and shall give Employees the opportunity to be heard.
i. Employees who are summoned by the Complaints Committee are obliged to appear.
j. If the gravity of the Complaint gives rise to this, the Complaints Committee can – at any time in the procedure – advise the Management Board on taking temporary measures or temporary measures.
a. Within six weeks of receipt of the Complaint, the Complaints Committee shall determine with reasons whether, and if so to what extent, the Complaint is justified in its opinion, and issue a written opinion on this to the Management Board. That opinion may include recommendations for the measure(s) to be taken by the Management Board. The report of the Complaints Committee contains a report of the hearing and the findings.
b. The period referred to in paragraph 1 may be extended by a maximum of four weeks. The extension shall be notified in writing to the persons directly concerned and to the Management Board.
c. A copy of the advice of the Complaints Committee will be sent to Those Directly Involved.
d. The Management Board will take a decision within two weeks of receipt of the advice of the Complaints Committee on whether or not to follow the advice of the Complaints Committee. Only for compelling reasons can the Management Board deviate from the advice of the Complaints Committee.
e. A copy of the decision will be sent to Those Directly Involved and to the Complaints Committee.
If a Complaint concerns (a member of) the Management Board, where this Complaints Procedure says ‘Management’, it should be read ‘the competent authority’. In that case, the competent authority shall be the other members of the Management Board.
a. Data relating to a Complaint will be stored in a place that is only accessible to the members of the Complaints Committee and the Management Board.
b. The data relating to a Complaint will be kept for up to five years after processing. These are then destroyed by the secretary of the Complaints Committee.
The Confidential Advisor and the members of the Complaints Committee may not suffer any disadvantage in their position in the organisation or in their employment law rights and obligations by submitting a Complaint or by virtue of their position as a Confidential Adviser or as a member of the Complaints Committee.
The Management Board shall, after two years from the date of entry into force of these regulations, draw up a written evaluation containing findings and any recommendations regarding the practical operation of these regulations. This evaluation is provided to and discussed with the Confidential Advisor, the members of the Complaints Committee and the Personnel Representation. They involve themselves in the preparation of the evaluation and the possible amendment of the scheme.
We adopted this regulation in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on the 12th of June 2023,
Read further: Terms, complaints, confidentialadvisor, undersiredbehavior
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