The EU considers that unreported breaches to EU laws in one member state, with lax protections for whistleblowers, due to the cross-border nature of such laws can have a detrimental effect to the proper functioning of the EU as a whole. As such on the 26th of November 2019 Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of EU law such as tax fraud, financial services, money laundering, privacy and data protection, was published on the Official Journal of the European Union.
A whistleblower can be a current or former employee, a job applicant or a journalist and, under the said Directive, he/she shall have the right to choose whether to report a concern or breach via internal reporting channels within the company or via external reporting channels such as to government offices or supervisory bodies. In the case where a breach reported internally is not effectively addressed the reporting person is entitled to report the same concern or breach via the external reporting channel.
The Directive affords a high level of protection to whistleblowers who report acts of omission of EU law either internally or externally and aspires to create safeguards to shield said persons by ensuring confidentiality concealing the identity of the whistleblower, as well as protective measures against (inter alia), suspensions/lay-offs, demotions or withholding of promotions, reductions in wages, change in working hours etc..
By December 2021 the EU member states are obliged to transpose the Directive into national law. Companies with 250 employees or more are required to establish the appropriate internal whistleblower channels/mechanisms upon transposition of the Directive into national law while companies having between 50 and 249 employees will be required to establish the aforesaid mechanisms by December 2023.
How can MAP S.Platis assist you?
Our team of experts can offer you the following services:
- Create policies and processes with respect to the internal submission of reports by whistleblowers;
- Provide answers to queries (Q&A service);
- Advise you on how to set-up both written and oral internal reporting channels and how to timely and efficiently follow-up and address the reported breach/concern.
Contact us for more information on how we may assist you.