A friendly reminder – deadline for the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive
After speaking to a couple of people this weekend, I realised that some companies are only now looking into what the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive requires of them – with just 6 months to go until the deadline. I guess that’s not a complete surprise, given that most EU member states have yet to publish their local interpretations of the law. However, as countries do release their local whistleblower protection laws over the coming months, we expect there to be a rush of managers scrambling to find whistleblowing solutions that are compliant, and simple and speedy to implement. You see, this is one of the minimum requirements set at a European level – affected organisations will need to provide a whistleblowing channel.
Which companies will be affected, then? If your company operates in the EU and employs 250 people or more, you have until December 17th to meet the deadline for the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive. Organisations with 50 or more employees will also be subject to the new law, but you have two more years to comply.
If you, like me, prefer not to leave legal compliance matters until the last minute, the good news is that you can start your preparations now, even if your country whistleblower laws are not yet crystal clear. Begin by reviewing the seven minimum requirements (see below), and identifying solutions that can help you fulfil them.
- A secure channel for receiving whistleblower reports must be put in place.
- Acknowledgment of the receipt of the report must be provided to the whistleblower within seven days.
- An impartial person or department must be appointed to follow up on the reports.
- Records must be kept of every report received, in compliance with confidentiality requirements.
- There must be diligent follow-up of the report by the designated person or department.
- Feedback about the report follow-up must be given to the whistleblower within three months.
- All processing of personal data must be done in accordance with the GDPR.
In an article from last April, we describe how the WhistleB solution helps organisations comply with these requirements.
Further, the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive lists a broad range of people that can report on misconduct while being legally protected. The important thing here is that this list goes far beyond employees, so you may need to identify a solution that allows for this.
Obviously, there is plenty more that you need to know about the Directive. But since I want to keep this friendly reminder short, feel free to visit WhistleB’s dedicated resource centre for detailed information. Ever since the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive was approved 18 months ago, we have also been sharing updates through articles, presentations and webinars. Most of these are available on our website.
We are always here to answer your questions, feel free to contact us.