Are you prepared for the EU Whistle-blower Protection Directive (and other global mandates)? Join this whole day online classroom Foundation Certification session on Whistleblower implementation, update, execution and monitoring issues on The Whistleblowers Day 23rd June 2021.
The EU Commission and other global oversight authorities continue to revamp their Governance and Compliance structures to protect employees, assets, stakeholders, and privacy. After GDPR, E-privacy, the next radical compliance implementation is the directive on the protection of whistle-blowers.
Tenacious Whistle-blowers exposed several scandals are “Deep Throat”, who met journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and exposed the Watergate scandal, which changed global history in the 1970s, probably the best whistle-blower example. Later the former Enron executive Sherron Watkins released vital information on the company’s fraudulent accounting practices in the 1980s, and recently whistle-blowers exposed some of the largest AML scandals in major gælobal banks and financial institutions.
Blowing the whistle on sloppy, corrupt, illegal, and greedy organisations and management can have substantial effects, both positive and negative, on the whistle-blower and the stakeholders. Therefore companies must start the process on their road to compliance through a roadmap, framework and a dedicated resource centre to ensure Governance, Risk Management and Compliance components when an employee or a contractor releases news of illegal, risky or unethical corporate conduct, process and or management behaviour.
Two-year cure period after adoption
By September 2021, all EU organisations with 250 or more employees must provide a channel for employees and others to blow the whistle. Companies with between 50 and 249 employees will have the usual two years to comply. Copenhagen Compliance® has since 2005 helped companies with roadmaps, frameworks, templates and tools to set up and manage a whistle-blower channel to create the corporate culture as the platform to deliver real business benefit and protects the long-term values of the organisation.
The corporate culture that addresses the various stakeholder obligations with a specific set of controls and system that focus on security, response times, data protection requirements must be monitored by management.
Business ethics and whistleblowing
Since the whistle-blower is probably the most vulnerable person in the process, they will soon be granted more excellent protection and encourage to report incidents without uncertainty and stress. The roadmap and framework must provide both whistle-blower anonymity, special safeguards and personal security.
The main requirements of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive are:
- Confidentiality of the identity of the whistle-blower. Network for receiving reports to ensure the privacy of the whistle-blower and prevent access to non-authorised persons.
- Response times: Establish procedures to follow-up the report within a seven-day acknowledgement
- Independent receiver(s) with the competence to follow up and communicate
- Due Diligence: Thorough follow-up within a reasonable timeframe to provide feedback to stakeholders
- Communication: Establish the conditions and procedures for disclosing the results and inform the oversight authorities.
- GDPR compliance: Processing of personal data must be carried out to comply with the Data Privacy issues.
- Record keeping: Companies must document each report received and ensure compliance, confidentiality, transparency and accountability.
- Deletion: Dispose the personal data to comply with global mandates and other relevant legislation in the right manner.
The new directive is an excellent opportunity for companies with a whistle-blower system to update The Corporate Whistle-blower Protection Program, disclose and report violations of various workplace safety, environmental, financial reform and securities laws. Update policies and procedures on employee and management conduct and behaviour. Companies that violate the whistle-blower protection laws can face fines, suspension of government contracts, civil lawsuits, and reputation damage, reducing the company’s stock value by a substantial amount.
Please send us an email to receive the Whistle-blower roadmap and framework or conducting in-house training and awareness or a whistle-blower seminar.