A significant new EU Whistleblower Protection law is expected to receive final approval on 7th October 2019. WhistleB welcomes greater protection of whistleblowers and faster detection of business misconduct but says that companies should allow anonymous reporting and encourage employees to report discrimination.
“Never before has whistleblowing, and the whistleblower, been given such legitimacy”, says Gunilla Hadders, Founding Partner at the Sweden-based global whistleblowing service provider, WhistleB. “Companies have everything to gain from uncovering misconduct far earlier and managing it internally, professionally and preventatively.”
Under the new law, for the first time, companies with 50 employees or more will be obliged to provide internal channels for reporting misconduct. The law also protects employees and others against retaliation when they report breaches of EU law. However, the law does not require that those who report harassment be protected in the same way, this will be a matter for EU countries to include in domestic legislation. The EU Whistleblower Protection law also falls short of demanding full anonymity for whistleblowers.
“Experience shows us clearly that anonymity is a decisive factor in encouraging people to blow the whistle. What’s more, harassment touches many individuals and workplaces daily. That’s why we encourage business leaders to also consider these two factors – enabling the safe reporting of discrimination and guaranteeing whistleblower anonymity – and aim for excellence in whistleblowing processes to gain maximum value from investments relating to the new law”, explains Gunilla Hadders.