Due to the EU Whistleblowing Directive and the national whistle-blower protection acts in all European countries, financial institutions, and all legal entities with 50 or more employees or with an annual turnover of more than €10 million must establish internal reporting channels under the Directive or other legislation. The main focuses of the EU Directive are to detect and prevent misconduct and breaches of laws and regulations. It intends to improve law enforcement by establishing effective, confidential and secure reporting channels. Moreover, whistle-blowers of good faith will be protected and enabled to raise concerns confidently and anonymously, without fear of retaliation. The protection of whistle-blowers applies to all reports of wrongdoing related to EU and national law.
In the first place, the EU Directive is an obligation for private and public legal entities and will be applicable across all sectors. In the second place, this standard extends to the broader circle of natural persons, e.g. (former) employees, shareholders, boardmembers, facilitators, interns, self-employed persons, confidential advisors, trade union representatives, journalists and even thirdparties closely associated with a reporter, such as family members. In the third place, by introducing the new Directive and local acts, the burden of proof will shift from the employee to the employer. The employer will have to prove that the disadvantage suffered by the reporter is unrelated to the report and that the detriment sustained by the reporting person is not a result of their report. In the last place, reporters will be allowed to report confidently and anonymously directly externally and, in some cases even publicly. In most cases, employees will be protected from dismissal, degradation and other forms of discrimination.
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored"
In close cooperation with our partners across the world, we assist various national and international clients with setting up and managing internal reporting channels and conducting investigations into reports of all kinds of alleged misconduct. The following elements are part of our services:
1. The execution of a baseline and regular assessments
2. The roll-out of an internal reporting channel
3. The raising of awareness with employees and other stakeholders
4. The investigation of reported concerns of possible misconduct
Please contact us to discuss your request, if you require more information on whistleblower issues.