Why do employers need to provide an internal reporting channel to Whistleblowers?

19.1.2022 14:46
 Internal reporting channel for Whistleblowers

On December 17, 2021, the deadline for implementing the EU Directive on Whistleblowers expired for Poland. The act implementing the provisions of the directive has not yet been passed, as legislative work at the government level is still ongoing. Importantly, however, this did not release Polish employers from the obligation to implement the Whistleblower protection system in the organization's structures, including the provision of an internal channel for reporting irregularities. Why is the implementation of an internal whistleblower system necessary?

What is the internal whistleblowing channel?

The overarching aim of the Whistleblower Directive is to protect the confidentiality of their identity. Whistleblowers can report violations through internal and external channels and through public disclosure. The internal channel is the first step in the case of reporting irregularities, and it is up to the employer's decision whether it will have a modern form of an IT system or a traditional mailbox or telephone line. Certainly, the implementation of the software brings many advantages and in the long-term settlement it is a much more profitable option. The most important benefits of implementing the system for reporting irregularities in the organization include:

- full protection of the confidentiality of Whistleblower identity,

- the option of personalizing the user interface to the requirements and needs of the company,

- access to reports and communication history at any time,

- the possibility of advanced search, printing and reporting of notifications,

- completing notifications by adding comments and attachments.

All the above-mentioned benefits and many more are provided by the Whistleblower system for reporting violations in the organization.

What are employers' obligations under the Whistleblower Protection Directive?

From the point of view of business owners, it is necessary to create and enable employees to use internal reporting channels. In addition, employers are required to:

- creating procedures to be followed after receiving a incident of a problem,

- considering, analyzing and verifying the authenticity of reports,

- protect the confidentiality of both the Whistleblower identity and the entire process,

- keeping a register of incidents,

- informing Whistleblowers about the progress in solving the problem,

- ensuring easy access to information on the procedures contained in the Directive.

The software that helps in fulfilling the above obligations is the Whistleblower system, a tool compliant with the provisions of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU).

Why is an internal channel for reporting irregularities in a company necessary from the point of view of employers?

First of all, the introduction of an internal breach reporting channel allows you to avoid signaling problems via the external channel. Thanks to the implementation of the reporting system, the occurrence of a situation in which a person reporting the violation asks for help from external units is minimized, which will have a negative impact on the overall image of the organization. Moreover, the internal channel in the form of IT software enables the employer to solve the existing situation inside the company. Whistleblower is a safe and reliable system for reporting irregularities in the workplace.

The implementation of effective software in which the protection of the confidentiality of the identity of persons notifying about the problem is placed in the first place contributes to building the trust of employees. In this way, the fear of potential penalties that may result from speaking out and signaling the problem is minimized. It is on the employers' side to help those employed to understand the principles of the Whistleblower Protection Directive and this is an action that, in the long run, will certainly contribute to building a culture of trust in organizations.

The aspect of the lack of communication within the organization is also important, which translates into the weakening of the company's structures. If problems occurring in an organization are not reported to employers, they cannot solve them and the company is thus unable to grow. The implementation of a safe and reliable system for handling reports shows the strength of a company that wants to improve, eliminate problems and take care of the entire workplace.