2019 became the year when the long-awaited EU whistleblower protection directive was approved and NAVEX Global acquired WhistleB. It was indeed another exciting year in the field of whistleblowing for us and our customers.
New EU Whistleblower Protection Directive approved
Earlier this autumn, WhistleB and the world of whistleblowing received our strongest affirmation yet that secure whistleblowing solutions are essential. The passing of the new EU Whistleblower Protection Directive was a milestone for business ethics. By protecting and encouraging whistleblowers throughout the EU who report on misconduct in their workplace, the new directive increases the likelihood that information on misconduct will be forthcoming. This is set to help organisational leaders prevent unlawful behaviour at an earlier stage, thus reducing risks and losses.
To ensure full confidentiality of whistleblower identities, the new directive obliges all organisations with more than 50 employees to implement a safe reporting channel for employees to raise concerns. Secure whistleblower solutions have never been more important. Under the directive, there are strict requirements on the reporting channels to be implemented. The good news is that WhistleB’s system already has almost everything organisations need to comply with the new directive.
Going forward, each country will interpret the directive in their own way and at different speeds over the next two years. As country legislation unfolds, WhistleB will monitor progress and develop the functionality of our whistleblowing solution, as needed. Thus 2020 will see us focus on providing a solution and services that continue to help organisations in Europe comply with both the new EU Whistleblower Protection directive and the GDPR.
→ Visit our dedicated web page, aimed at keeping you updated on the EU Whistleblower Protection directive → here.
Whistleblowing seen as a trusted channel in the organisational ethics toolkit
In the first quarter of the year, WhistleB conducted our Annual customer survey on organisational whistleblowing. One of the most overwhelming findings, voiced in some 50% of the responses, was that building trust was the main benefit of having a whistleblowing system in place. This was followed by detecting unethical behaviour at an early stage and working preventively against misconduct. These results indicate clearly that our customers benefit from the wider impact of being open to whistleblowing. Namely, that together with the rest of the organisation’s ethics work, a whistleblowing system helps to build trust in the organisation as it underlines a commitment to transparency and openness.
The study also found that more whistleblowing reports are being received than in previous years. We believe that a number of factors have contributed to this increase: a more open attitude to whistleblowers and whistleblowing; more positive media depiction of whistleblowers; and increasing regulation that protects the rights of whistleblowers, such as the EU directive mentioned above. This is a trend that we expect to continue in 2020.
NAVEX Global acquired WhistleB
In December WhistleB announced that the company had been acquired by the leading risk and compliance company, NAVEX Global. We are delighted to have joined forces with such a strong player in the risk and compliance space.
Investment in the WhistleB solution will continue and the WhistleB system will become an important discrete solution in the NAVEX Global portfolio. Notably:
- The WhistleB solution will continue to exist and be supported and enhanced as a discrete solution.
- All WhistleB data will continue to be stored in the EU exactly as it is today, and the system will continue to be GDPR compliant.
- WhistleB as a company remains, with the team committed to customer service and satisfaction.
One new and exciting prospect for 2020 is that WhistleB will be able to offer customers easier access to other solutions offered by NAVEX Global. These include Integrated Risk Management, Policy Management, a full library of Online Compliance Training and Vendor Risk Management.
As the founders of WhistleB we, Karin and Gunilla, remain in the company committed to serving customers to ensure consistently high levels of customer satisfaction.
We are closing the year on a high, full of expectation for 2020
We are confident in the knowledge that our Whistleblowing service has never been more important and that our customers are a long way along the road to compliance with the new EU directive.
We thank you for being part of our journey and wish you all the best for the festive season.