Whistleblower Protection Directive set to receive final approval

The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive is expected to receive its final approval by EU ministers on Monday next week, and if so, will need to be transposed by member states within two years of its adoption, which would set the deadline at September 2021.

Under the new directive companies and other organisations with 50 employees or more are obliged to set up internal reporting channels. The law also specifies requirements for these internal channels, for example that they should ensure the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity and provide prompt follow up on the report.

“Attitudes to whistleblowers have fundamentally changed," says Karin Henriksson, a partner at whilstleblowing platform WhistleB. "The new law recognises that whistleblowers can play a role in contributing to a more transparent working life and society."

Anonymous whistleblowing will be decided at a national level. Most EU countries are expected to accept anonymous reporting.

“Experience from customers shows us that anonymity is a decisive factor in encouraging people to blow the whistle. Nonetheless, we are happy to see that organisations will for the first time need to provide feedback to the whistleblower and have the option of external reporting clearly available. The whistleblower will have the same protection when reporting externally if the internal reporting fails, for example in the lack of feedback and action by the company,” Henriksson added.

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