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Adopting the Directive: Insights from Whistlelink's VP of Strategy & Growth

Q. What is the current state of countries adopting the EU Whistleblowing Directive?

It looks very mixed right now. Some EU Member States appear to have progressed further than others, some haven’t even started. None are complete but some countries are getting closer to transposing it, and it looks like they’ll be some tighter national laws than the minimum requirements of the Directive.

As an example, we’ve seen that the draft bill in the Czech Republic, which has now passed a parliamentary vote, looks set to apply to companies with as few as 25 employees. Whereas in the Directive, it’s companies with over 50 employees who need to implement internal reporting channels.

In Denmark, where the draft bill has been sent for public consultation, the media reports that the new national law will extend its scope to include reports of sexual harassment.

France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Romania are all at public consultation stage and with mixed responses to the draft bill so far. Sweden has progressed further with its whistleblowing bill now introduced to parliament and Ireland has published its bill of amendment to the current whistleblowing law.

No matter what the final laws look like, all nations must protect the whistleblower against retaliation by requiring organisations to have secure reporting channels in place.

Q. How are companies reacting and adopting to the Directive?

We are definitely seeing an increase of incoming inquires. Organsiations are either keen to benefit from a reporting channel right away, or they want to ensure all their internal processes are in place prior to the end of year implementation deadline. However, there are some companies who tell us they’re holding out a little longer to see what their national law requires.

We work tightly with our partners in numerous countries and they are finding a similar situation. Our partners are keen to be onboard now so they are ready to offer a full whistleblowing service as soon as a client requires it.

Q. Can companies start implementing a reporting channel before countries adopt the law?

Absolutely! And I’d say the earlier the better because there are so many advantages of having an internal whistleblowing solution in place. It gives a company the opportunity to try different options to find the best solution for their business. And, depending on the system they choose, a company should be able to adapt it easily to any extra requirements in the national law.

Q. How are companies preparing ahead of the deadline?

If a company doesn’t already have a whistleblowing policy, then this is obviously where they start. But whether they have a policy in place or not, organisations get in touch with us because they know they need a way to handle whistleblowing reports that meets the Directive’s requirements.

Read next tip: Get started with whistleblowing implementation

The Directive requires companies with over 50 employees to implement and manage secure and effective reporting channels. Whistlelink provides such a channel in the form an online system.

However Whistlelink isn’t only built to help companies comply. It’s also crafted with the user in mind. Both those who manage it and those who need to use it.

Q. Tell us more

It takes only 10 minutes to set-up, and you get instant access to your user-friendly dashboard and case management tool. You can customise Whistlelink and choose from 30 languages to help employees make a report in their native tongue. All clients get an onboarding package to support the easy set-up, and it gives tips and templates on how and where to communicate the reporting channel.

You get more info about our product on our website.

Clients are repeatedly telling me that reports in relation to Covid-19 are increasing. Whether these reports can be seen as a pure whistleblowing issues is also open to debate.

Would you like to learn more about a whistleblowing service and safe internal reporting channels? Read more about the EU Whistleblowing Directive here and at EUR-Lex.

Are you looking for a safe and secure whistleblowing solution? Read more here.

Would you like to discuss a whistleblowing system for your organisation?
Please contact us or book a free demo!

If you have any thoughts about this article or would like to know more about Whistlelink, we’d love to hear from you.

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The EU Whistleblowing Directive explained

Philippa Johnsson,
Whistlelink
 

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