Polish companies and institutions are still waiting for the implementation of the national act on Whistleblower protection, which is to regulate the protection of persons reporting irregularities. According to the European Union Directive on Whistleblowers, entrepreneurs are required to create and implement internal channels to protect Whistleblowers. Below are the steps describing how to implement a Whistleblowing system in your organization.
The first step is to analyze the current situation in the company in terms of procedures and legal requirements. It is a good idea to conduct an audit that will answer the following questions:
- Which areas of the organization function properly?
- Which areas of the organization need improvement?
- Are there any procedures related to the reporting of irregularities in the company?
- Has the organization implemented a whistleblowing system for Whistleblowers?
- Are there legal units that provide information on the specific provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Directive?
Due to the answers to the above questions, employers receive comprehensive knowledge not only about the functioning of the company, but also a full picture of what needs to be implemented to meet the requirements of Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and the Council. According to its regulations, the implementation of an internal channel for managing reports and meeting the related guidelines is a mandatory matter for employers employing at least 250 people and public institutions, excluding municipalities inhabited by less than 10,000 people.
The second step is for employers to appoint impartial people or a unit to receive reports, check them for credibility, handle them, take corrective action and inform those reporting violations about progress in resolving incidents. Since each company and institution covered by the requirements of the directive must implement an internal channel for managing reports, which may be, for example, Whistleblower system, the persons responsible for controlling notifications have easier work. The ticket system provides them with:
- access to all reports,
- the ability to assign tickets to specific queues,
- complete communication history,
- determination and counting of the time allocated to solving a specific application,
- moderation of submissions,
- generating a unique notification number.
Entrepreneurs should provide their employees with reliable and effective actions aimed at solving the matter and improving the quality of the workplace. Their duties include monitoring deadlines, providing Whistleblowers with feedback on the progress and status of the report, ensuring the protection of the confidentiality of the identity of Whistleblowers and those affected, as well as compliance with the GDPR rules. Certainly, the implementation of a breach reporting system for Whistleblowers can help them fulfill all these obligations.
The third step consists in determining the schedule of activities and their implementation. A well-thought-out strategy helps to eliminate internal problems and improve the functioning of the organization. To help employees understand the rules of the Directive, employers should explain the reporting procedures clearly and openly, discuss in detail what reporting channels are, transparently present the persons designated to receive and manage Whistleblower reports, and ensure their subordinates protect the confidentiality of their identity.
Effective implementation of procedures and implementation of the work schedule in terms of implementing the requirements of the Whistleblower Protection Directive contribute to increasing the protection of personal data and information contained in the system, improving the quality of the workplace, and supporting the automation of processes and digitization of documents. Certainly, transparent communication with employees is the key to success, and the implementation of a Whistleblower reporting system helps to create a safe and structured workplace.