In April 2018, the European Union introduced a proposal for a directive aimed at establishing protective mechanisms for employees prepared to report misconduct in the workplace. This proposal came into force as the EU Whistleblowing Directive and the deadline for EU member states to implement it into national law is December 2021.
What is the focus of the Whistleblower Directive?
In simple terms, the objective of the directive is to provide protection for whistleblowers and encourage individuals to report misconduct in companies. More specifically, the directive dictates:
- Protection not only for employees who report misconduct but also for former employees, job applicants, journalists, and supporters of the whistleblower
- Protection from dismissal and/or any other type of discrimination against the whistleblower
- Protection is aimed for misconduct reports relating to EU law and does not extend to cover reports in relation to national laws unless national legislators choose otherwise
- Whistleblowers can either report misconduct internally or directly to a supervisory authority. If a report does not receive a proper response, the whistleblower can choose to directly address the public and should be protected either way.
What implications does the EU Directive have on business?
Within the scope of the directive’s provisions, businesses are obliged to establish effective whistleblowing arrangements that enable employees and other relevant stakeholders to raise concerns. Such arrangements include processes that allow the whistleblower to submit reports:
- in writing (via online systems, mailbox, or post) or
- orally (via telephone or an answering machine system)
Businesses are, also, obliged to offer a face-to-face meeting at the whistleblowers request and must keep the whistleblowers identity confidential regardless of the reporting channel that was used.
The directive’s entry into force is twofold:
- for companies with more than 250 employees, the requirements will enter into force December 17th, 2021
- for companies employing 50-249 people, there is a two-year transition period that extends until December 2023
Can I use Surveypal as a reporting channel for whistleblowers?
You can use Surveypal as a reporting channel to enable whistleblowers to raise concerns and disclose breaches internally. By using Surveypal you can
- enable two-way, secure, and anonymous reporting
- guarantee ease of use with forms that take the whistleblower step by step through the process of reporting
- automatically notify the right stakeholders in your organization when a new report is submitted
- access all whistleblowing reports that your company has received over time and better identify and manage risks