In this interview with Whistlelink’s partner Mariański Group in Poland, we will hear Legal Counsel Monika Błońska (Partner at Mariański Group) and Attorney Bartosz Rodak (leader of the whistleblowing section at Mariański Group) discuss the approach to whistleblowing by Polish companies, and what impact the national whistleblowing law in Poland might have on organisations.
Mariański Group is made up of a group of experts in various fields with a common goal of ensuring legal and tax security for our clients. We look for beneficial solutions for businesses and support clients in implementing their compliance policy. For example, building cooperation aimed at improving the functioning of the company, reducing the likelihood of entering a dispute or control by state authorities. We focus primarily on ongoing support and consultancy for our partners, aiming to ensure compliance of company activities with applicable regulations and business assumptions.
Our goal is to recommend safe and optimal solutions adapted to the rapidly changing legal and tax environment.
The leader and founder of Mariański Group is Professor Adam Mariański. He is an experienced tax advisor and advocate, advisor to many family businesses, Chairman of the BCC Tax Committee, BCC expert on business succession and restructuring. He gives opinions on all projects and supervises the work of the team.
In the organisations we work with, we notice a slow increase in the interest in whistleblowing. This topic is clearly developed in public life organizations, e.g., in courts or offices. We see a change of tendency here. Until now, novelties such as whistleblowing channels were first implemented in private companies. Reporting irregularities is also important in organisations that implement schemes and procedures imposed by their countering companies.
We hope that the implementation of European whistleblowing solutions will contribute to building greater awareness and employee responsibility, for the organisation in which they work and for processes that are imperative in their company. Whistleblowing can also reduce irregularities at the initial stage, which means they do not generate unnecessary costs for the organisation.
Based on the current wording of the draft (May 2022), Polish regulations, try to reflect the spirit of the Directive, primarily in the preamble to its provisions. Unfortunately, the regulations are often inadequate compared to the level of protection in the EU Whistleblowing Directive. This is the case, for example, when talking about sanctions, as the Polish draft only mentions criminal liability.
Currently, most of our clients are interested in whistleblowing mainly due to the fear of statutory obligations and sanctions related to the lack of implementation and application of the EU Directive in Polish regulations. Meanwhile, it is important to spark an interest in organisations, employees and associates for a necessary, joint care of the proper functioning of the company, for the common good. This should result in employers not discriminating against workers who point out mistakes. At the same time, employees will not be afraid of sounding the alarm on the above-mentioned errors.
Customers are concerned about the complexity of a reporting system and receiving a large number of notifications. They would like to have access to the data of reporting persons, which does not always comply with the requirements of the EU Directive. It is important to implement personalized procedures adapted to each organisation. We are concerned that implementing templates will be just as ineffective as implementing RODO (local GDPR) without adjusting to the organisation.
At the moment, most organisations in Poland are skeptical about voluntary implementation of a whistleblowing solution. They prefer to wait for the national whistleblower law.
A major threat is the increase in wage pressure and the continuous increase of the minimum wage and public-law burdens related not only to the employment of employees, but in general with running the company. It is especially difficult for organisations to adjust to too frequent and ill-considered changes in the tax system.
In our opinion, the benefits for individual organisations will translate into benefits for the entire society. In industries where reporting procedures for irregularities are already in place (e.g., in finance), they also brought great benefits and prevented many failures.
Our cooperation with Whistlelink results from the belief that an experienced partner with many years of effective and practical implementations, at the same time drawing from international models, is the best solution we can offer our clients. We value the simplicity of whistleblowing solutions and the ability to adapt them to the realities of business.
Legal counsel Monika Błońska – Partner at Mariański Group
Attorney Bartosz Rodak – Leader of the whistleblowing section at Mariański Group
Please visit Mariański Group to learn more about the company.
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Philippa Johnsson, Whistlelink
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