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EU guidelines

The European Union (EU) Whistleblower Directive 2019/1937

The Whistleblower Directive was published on October 23, 2019 and will also be EU whistleblower
called directive.

Whistleblowers are particularly important for maintaining an open and transparent society, as they have the courage to uncover grievances with their reports. In order to better protect them from negative consequences and reprisals in the future, such as dismissal, transfer or intimidation, EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of whistleblowers came into force on December 23, 2019.

The aim of the EU Whistleblower Directive is to

  • detect and stop violations.

  • improve law enforcement by providing effective, confidential and secure Reporting channels are set up and whistleblowers are effectively protected against reprisals.

  • that whistleblowers are not subject to any civil, criminal or administrative law, nor in relation to their employment can be held liable.

Who is affected by this Whistleblower Policy?

Small and large companies with 50 or more employees, public sector institutions, authorities and municipalities with 10,000 or more inhabitants must in future provide secure internal reporting channels for whistleblowers throughout the EU. These persons should be able to submit reports either in writing via whistleblower software, a mailbox or by post and/or verbally via a whistleblower hotline or an answering machine system.

What must be taken into account?

In all reporting channels, the confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower must be maintained so that the whistleblower does not have to fear any reprisals.

Who should take tips?
Heads of compliance or human resources, integrity officers, legal or data protection officers, the chief financial officer, audit officers, board members or public sector employees such as anti-corruption officers or legal departments.

Internal or external reporting channels
If no internal reporting channels are implemented, according to the EU directive, whistleblowers have the option of also forwarding an external report to the responsible authorities - with incalculable risks for the organizations concerned.


What happens to clues?
Because all reports of violations must be documented and followed up, each report should be retrievable and easy to respond to.


Early implementation
Depending on the size and complexity of the organizational structure, implementation can take a few weeks.


Sanctions for non-implementation of the directive
Companies that obstruct a report, take reprisals or do not guarantee the confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower must expect sanctions.

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