Whether Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden: whistleblowers are known to live dangerously. That is now set to change. In order to ensure uniform protection of whistleblowers, the European Union has adopted a so-called Whistleblower Directive in 2019. The aim is to oblige companies and authorities to establish an appropriate whistleblower system and thus better protect whistleblowers. The Whistleblower Protection Act is intended to translate this directive into German law. For Germany, the implementation deadline is 17th December 2021 – a corresponding draft for the Whistleblower Protection Act is already available. But what does this whistleblowing law mean for German companies? And how can compliance in the area of whistleblowing be ensured?
Attractive whistleblower systems to uncover legal violations
A central element provided for by the Whistleblower Protection Act is the establishment of a reporting system. Such whistleblower systems are intended to make it possible to report legal violations, including criminal and administrative offenses, internally. The drafted Whistleblower Protection Act provides for the following:
- Reporting offices must accept information in both oral and written form. Anonymous reporting is also to be possible – however, the reporting office is then not obligated to follow up on the given tip.
- All reports must be made in strict confidence. In this way, whistleblowers are to be granted legal certainty and appropriate protection.
- Whistleblower systems must be independent and can be operated by either internal or external entities. In certain cases, even a joint reporting office with other companies would be permitted. Independent reporting offices should also be established at federal and state levels.
- Whistleblowers are free to choose whether to contact an internal or an external reporting office. However, incentives are to be created to ensure that companies make their internal whistleblowing systems as attractive as possible.
How can it be ensured that the Whistleblowing Act is implemented appropriately within the company and that all employees are aware of how whistleblowing systems work?
Whistleblower Protection Act training creates certainty of action and strengthens compliance
Professional Whistleblower Protection Act training can ensure comprehensive compliance in the area of whistleblowing. Teach your employees and managers about the importance of the Whistleblower Protection Act and make them aware of existing reporting channels. You have not yet established your own whistleblowing system and would now like to ensure compliance for whistleblowing in accordance with the Whistleblowing Act? Or do you already have whistleblower systems in place, but want to strengthen them with modern Whistleblower Protection Act training? – Security Island offers you the best solution. Our e-learning creates clarity and security of action for potential whistleblowers – flexible in terms of location and time, multilingual and multimedia.