How can an employer help his employees understand the rules of whistleblowing?

5.1.2022 12:07
How can an employer help his employees understand the rules of whistleblowing

Pursuant to Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the employer is obliged to provide employees with an internal channel for reporting irregularities. To ensure that people who are part of the organization are not afraid to make reports, they should receive support and specific information from employers.

What are employers' obligations under the entry into force of the Whistleblower Protection Directive?

On 17 December 2021, the deadline for implementing the EU Directive on Whistleblowers expired. Admittedly, the act implementing the provisions of the directive has not yet been adopted, because at the moment the legislative work at the government level is still ongoing. However, it has not released employers from the obligation to implement the Whistleblower protection system on 17 December 2021. Find out who exactly the Whistleblower Protection Directive applies to.

Consequently, employers are required to fulfill a number of obligations. Primarily, they need to establish an internal reporting channel dedicated to reporting breaches within organizations. Thereafter, they should continue to provide Whistleblowers with easy and secure access to the use of external reporting channels. It is important to designate a person or entity that will be obliged to accept incidents and take remedial action. Employers are also responsible for continuous and reliable keeping of a register of notifications and ensuring the protection of the confidentiality of the identity of reporting persons.

How can an employer help employees understand the rules for notifying irregularities?

The provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council are described for many people in a rather complicated and sometimes incomprehensible way. It is essential that employees have clearly communicated and explained regulations and the possibility of reporting irregularities in organizations. This knowledge will certainly help them to overcome their uncertainty and gain confidence in the internal whistleblowing channel. In order to make it easier for workers to understand the principles of the Directive, the employer should:

- clearly and openly explain all disclosure possibilities within the company,

- explain exactly what reporting channels are and how the employee can access them,

- ensure subordinates that the confidentiality of the identity of all persons who decide to report is protected,

- transparently present the designated persons who are responsible for receiving and handling reports in the company,

- discuss in detail how the repair process is going and how long it should take,

- indicate the information that is necessary to provide at the stage of creating the notification,

- define the timeframe for receiving applications and for the feedback received by all Whistleblowers,

- explain how the investigation is completed.

The system that improves communication in the employer-employee relationship is Whistleblower software, based on a preconfigured version of the well-known Mint Service Desk notification platform. The Whistleblower provides a number of functionalities and meets the requirements for the protection of the confidentiality of the identity of persons reporting irregularities.

Who should the employer inform about the rules of reporting violations?

Irregularities may be signaled by:

- all employees, regardless of the basis of employment, including self-employed persons, interns and volunteers,

- former employees and people in the recruitment process,

- members of corporate structures of companies, including shareholders, members of management and supervisory bodies,

- external employees, i.e. contractors, subcontractors, suppliers.

The employer should clarify any doubts regarding the entire whistleblowing process and inform not only his current employees, but also all interested parties that enter into the above-mentioned relationship with the organization about the rules for reporting breaches.

Fulfill the obligations of the employer and provide your company with a safe, unique and personalized Whistleblower system for receiving reports of irregularities.