An external or internal confidant (Vertrouwenspersoon)?

18 February 2022

What are the differences between an external and internal trustee?

What does a confidant do?

Employees may encounter forms of unwelcome behavior at work, such as bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and aggression. It is pleasant when an affected employee can go to a confidant within the company with their problems.
A confidant is there for employees who have reports or complaints about improper behaviour such as:

  •  aggression and violence
  • sexual harassment/unwanted intimacies
  • bullying
  • discrimination

A confidant always handles employee information confidentially. There is a duty of confidentiality.

Companies can, in consultation with the works council, choose an internal or external confidant:

Outside the company: for example, through the occupational health and safety service provider or association;

Within the company: an in-house employee who is trained as a confidant or specially appointed for this purpose (especially in large organizations).

Advantages and disadvantages of an internal trustee

Many organizations choose to have an internal confidant. This is someone who works within the organization.
The advantages of an internal confidant are that the confidant already knows the company culture, organization and employees. This allows problems to be identified earlier. In addition, confidants are easier to find; colleagues know who to approach. The threshold is lower to go to the confidant.
The disadvantage of appointing a confidential advisor internally is that questionable situations may arise in which employees do not dare to report to the person in question, independence may come under pressure, or the internal confidential advisor may start to experience the manners of conduct as normal and therefore no longer objectively identify undesirable behavior. In addition, the activity may be difficult to combine with other work. Finally, another disadvantage is the cost of training and continuing education.

Advantages and disadvantages of an external trustee

The advantages of an external confidant is that one can assess objectively. Precisely because there is no connection with the organization in question. In addition, external confidants practice their profession as experts. It is easier to arrange for a replacement in case of absence without incurring in-service or training costs. An external confidant will look at the company culture in a neutral way and help the reporter and the company to find a solution.

The disadvantage of appointing a confidant externally is that the confidant is less findable by employees. It takes them more effort because of this. In addition, it takes more time for a external trustee to learn the company culture.

Have you not yet appointed an internal or external confidant? We are happy to help you. You can contact us by phone or email.

Call us at 074-82 00 357

Gerelateerde berichten

What is Arbo?

What is Arbo? Arbo is the abbreviation for ArbeidsOmstandigheden (Working Conditions). This refers to the...

5 solutions for staff shortages

5 solutions for staff shortages

5 sustainable solutions for staff shortages There are currently more job openings than there are job seekers. Due to...