Jun 16, 2021 10:05:02 PM

Everything your business needs to know about the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection

Have you heard about the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive?

By December 17, 2021, you can expect this to be transposed as a national law across all EU member states, affecting organisations with 250 employees or more.

The Whistleblower Protection directive aims to protect the safety of corporate whistleblowers as they expose misconduct events. For companies like yours, this is a great opportunity to nurture a “speak up” culture that will help you proactively address breaches and other ethical violations before they become a state-wide PR issue.

This directive brings with it certain management responsibilities too. As you strive to ensure a healthy culture and work environment, privacy concerns must also be taken into account.

To help, here is a complete guide to the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection and how your business can adapt effectively to comply with it.

What does the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection mean?

The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive is designed to encourage whistleblowers throughout the EU to report on various kinds of concerning misconduct at their workplace.

Basically, it allows employees to confidently report on issues they are aware of, such as money laundering, data breaches, taxation avoidance, product safety and more, all without compromising their safety.

Businessteam working together on projectTo effectively manage reports from whistleblowers, the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive has set forward the following requirements:

  1. Protect the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity - You must ensure that the procedures for reporting, dialogue and follow-ups guarantee the anonymity of whistleblowers.

  2. Appropriate response times - The acknowledgement of reports must be done within no more than 7 days. After this, feedback must be sent to the whistleblower within three months of receipt.

  3. Contact persons - You must assign an impartial person or department to deal with the reports. It’s important to ensure they have the relevant skills and competencies to handle these investigations. 
  1. Follow-up – A diligent follow-up process must be established that secures the utmost confidentiality and protection of whistleblowers and allows the facilitation of appropriate corrective action.

  2. Communication and Information – It’s important to equip your teams with the right information about the conditions and procedures for reporting externally.

  3. GDPR compliance - Keep in mind that any processing of personal data carried out pursuant to the directive must also comply with the GDPR.

  4. Record keeping – It is essential for you to keep records of every report received – no longer than it is proportionate and necessary.

Why is this EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection relevant to you?

Corporations operating in Europe will have to implement and comply with whistleblower protection laws at multiple levels across their organisation.

If you operate in Europe, you’re required to fulfil the requirements set out.

Curious corporate businessman skeptically meeting looking at small employee standing on table through magnifying glass isolated office grey wall background. Human face expression, attitude, perceptionFirst, you will encounter national laws which must at least have all the whistleblower protections listed in the EU directive. Next, you’ll have to adhere to the whistleblower protection laws in your current state.

Moreover, this EU Whistleblower Protection Directive indicates that all private legal entities with 50 or more employees should have secure reporting channels by December 17, 2023. This includes businesses in the financial services sector, public legal entities and those within industries with a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.

How does the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection impact your business?

The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive is there to safeguard whistleblowers, with the goal of facilitating more transparency around malpractice in the commercial world.

Under the Directive, if you attempt to hinder reporting, expose whistleblowers or retaliate against them, your business may suffer penalties and legal consequences.

Therefore, it’s important to develop a healthy organisational culture in which speaking up is encouraged. This may sound counterproductive, but it actually gives everyone in your company the confidence to correct misconduct and violations before they create bigger, more publicly exposed problems for your business. In other words, if you provide a system where people can provide feedback internally first and you demonstrate effective responses and respect, they’ll be less inclined to take the action much further because they will feel they’re being listened to.

Download QWL White Paper By following the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection, you can also strengthen your employees’ trust in you. As you empower them to report anomalies according to the guidelines set by the directives, they will see your willingness to handle issues without compromising their security.

But to comply with the directive, you first need to establish effective internal channels that will enable you to actively collect and listen to internal feedback, in order to proactively address whistleblower cases before they grow.

Fortunately, you can rely on VibeCatch’s anonymous polls and feedback to help you

How can VibeCatch support you with the Directive on Whistleblower Protection

To set up effective internal reporting systems, you must prioritise accessibility, anonymity and safety.

VibeCatch is ideal for this, by allowing you to tailor polls that are aligned with the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection. Our innovative platform enables you to facilitate continuous employee listening while ensuring confidentiality at all times.

With our anonymous polls and feedback, you can encourage employees to participate and be more genuine when it comes to reporting. By using VibeCatch, you will also have a centralised platform to receive, manage and oversee reports and complaints.

VibeCatch provides comprehensive and ongoing insights, which allow you to create more informed decisions, take immediate action and proactively address employees’ concerns.

Time is of the essence now

Remember – organisations with 250 employees or more are expected to comply by December 17, 2021. Additionally, by December 17, 2023, legal entities with 50 or more employees must also be fully equipped to adhere to this directive.

VibeCatch offers an effective way to be fully compliant and build better relationships with your teams. Let’s discuss how VibeCatch polls can help you take the lead in protecting both your employees and the future of your company.

Aerial View of Young Business Friends Discussing the Project at the Worktable.

What is VibeCatch? 

VibeCatch is an HR platform based on 15 years of proven research, offering you the opportunity to make a difference and prove the impact that you know you make every single day for the people around you. 

Through VibeCatch’s QWL Polls, Pulse Polls and 360 Feedback Polls, you can uncover hidden opportunities, correct issues and address areas of improvement for both employees and management.

Book an obligation-free consultation and we’ll discuss your options to show you how VibeCatch can help you help everyone. 

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Posted by Juha Huttunen

Juha Huttunen
Juha is a Co-founder and the CEO of VibeCatch. A serial entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and geek with 15+ years of experience in startups, sales, leadership and growing business. To Juha, measuring improvements in performance and putting them in quantifiable and monetary terms is VibeCatch’s greatest strength.

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