With the recent launch of the Whistleblowing Protection Directive, by the EU Member States, December 17, 2021, the rules surrounding whistleblowing in the workplace have been elevated and tightened for all EU countries. EU companies must now legally provide confidential, open and safe reporting channels for their workplace employees and protect whistleblowers from any negative retaliation made against them.
Consequently, due to the new developments in the Whistleblowing Protection Directive, many companies have now been left to consider how to implement the new rules as efficiently and quickly as possible. Some challenges and questions include:
- What processes, procedures and supportive technology solutions should be put into place so that companies can adhere to the new regulations effectively?
- How should companies handle reports once they are filed?
- How can companies protect whistleblowers from retaliation?
- How do the new rules apply across EU member states?
- What are the rules when handling sensitive whistleblowing data and abiding by GDPR?
- What resources need to be put into place to manage whistleblowing across in-office, hybrid and remote work environments?
To answer these critical questions, NAVEX launched some of our largest whistleblowing surveys ever conducted to learn about the new key challenges, cultural perceptions and trends that will affect whistleblowing and companies in Europe this year.
The Whistleblowing in Europe: Key Insights for 2022 webinar uses these findings to help organisations to develop and improve their annual whistleblowing compliance programmes. Below is a preview of what the webinar will cover and some key data from the surveys:
Adopting the right modern technology is essential to streamlining the whistleblowing process in a workplace. By automating workflows, enabling cases to be managed electronically and deleting old data as required, overall efficiency can be improved. A streamlined whistleblowing process will also free up compliance teams so they can spend more time investigating whistleblowing reports.
It also vital that technology provide whistleblowers with confidentiality and anonymity. Survey findings reveal 38% of respondents believe anonymous reporting is a top-three factor for building employee trust and encouraging whistleblowing within the workplace.
It’s a fact – cultural attitudes towards whistleblowing do vary across Europe. According to the survey, senior business leaders in Italy and Poland are the most aware of the newly tightened rules. They are also the most confident that a positive organizational culture affects a company’s compliance levels in line with the new directive. However, findings also uncovered that Swedish firms have the least confidence in their workplace culture and are most likely to see the value in receiving an increased number of whistleblowing reports. Increased whistleblowing reports can lead to 46% fewer negative news stories about a company, 6.9% fewer material lawsuits and a 2.8% increase in return assets.
Though most organisations agree that whistleblowers should be protected, very few have policies or procedures in place to protect them from retaliation. Results show that merely 56% of companies protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers and 31% track retaliations against a whistleblower after a report is produced. Not enough is being done to protect those who speak up, with fear of negative retaliation being the primary reason for would-be whistleblowers to stay quiet on anything they believe goes against company conduct. This means organisations must protect whistleblowers and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to any forms of retaliation by others to encourage people to speak out.
The NAVEX E&C Solutions
helps keep organisations compliant with the new directive and support all businesses whistleblowing goals and challenges, for more information contact one of our solutions experts.
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