EU Whistleblowing Directive

On 16 December 2019 after its approval by the European Parliament, the Whistleblowing Directive came into force.  The new legislation is seen as a vital legislative cog in attempting to prevent breaches of EU law such as fraud and corruption…

Blog10th Nov 2020

By Sean McAuley

On 16 December 2019 after its approval by the European Parliament, the Whistleblowing Directive came into force.  The new legislation is seen as a vital legislative cog in attempting to prevent breaches of EU law such as fraud and corruption and providing comprehensive protection for whistleblowers across the whole of the EU.

Member States are required to transpose the Whistleblowing Directive and to adopt their own version of the directive as national law by 17 December 2021.  As a minimum, the national laws must include all the whistleblower protections listed in the EU directive, although countries do have some flexibility for including more protections if they so wish.  For example, Member states can decide on how they wish to handle anonymous reporting, or whether in certain scenarios to give financial rewards to whistleblowers who report matters to their Government.

The Directive includes new rules that will impact thousands of businesses in both the public and private sectors including small and medium sized enterprises with 50 or more employees.

The adoption of safe and secure reporting channels is a primary objective of the Directive and is explicit in specifying that such channels should be designed, established and operated in a secure manner that ensures the confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower and any third party mentioned in the report is protected.

In order to comply with the Directive businesses are also required to include:

  • An acknowledgment of receipt of the report to the whistleblower within no more than seven days of receipt.
  • The designation of a competent impartial person or department for following up on the reports, and maintaining communication, asking for further information and providing feedback to the whistleblower.
  • Diligent follow-up of the report by the designated person or department.
  • Diligent follow-up of anonymous reporting – where provided for in national law.
  • Introduce measures to protect whistleblowers from dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation
  • A reasonable timeframe for providing feedback to the whistleblower about the report follow-up, not exceeding three months from the acknowledgment of receipt.
  • Clear and easily accessible information regarding the conditions and procedures for reporting externally to competent authorities.

With less than half of all EU countries having whistleblower protection legislation in place., thousands of businesses will need to implement new or revised whistleblowing processes and policies.  However, whilst it may take some time for EU countries to begin their journey to full compliance, the Directive should ensure businesses will now be working towards putting measures in place.

Implementation of a confidential reporting channel is seen as the first step towards compliance with the Directive. As leading providers of whistleblowing solutions in Europe, AAB People can assist in the implementation of whistleblowing services to comply with the changes in EU whistleblowing laws.

If you would like further information about implementation of an independent external whistleblowing service please don’t hesitate to contact us.

By Sean McAuley

Related services

Sign up for updates

  1. Blog25th Jun 2024

    Employment Tribunals… why are HR & Whistleblowing key?

    Employment tribunals have been in the headlines in recent years, acting as the stage for disputes between employees and employers, such as in the cases of Ms N Hands v Mitie Ltd and of Dr T William v Lewisham and…

    By Sean McAuley and Donna Wrigglesworth

    View more
  2. Blog14th Feb 2024

    An Investment in Knowledge Always Pays the Best Interest

    The Benjamin Franklin quote could not be more appropriate given the global financial crisis, austerity measures, new anti-bribery legislation and the continued threat of fraud and financial misconduct in the workplace. AAB People offers a unique external and independent whistleblowing/hotline…

    By Sean McAuley

    View more
  3. Blog8th Jun 2023

    Tips on How to Effectively Manage Whistleblowing Disclosures

    Most businesses encourage their employees to raise whistleblowing disclosures directly via their internal whistleblowing reporting channels rather than disclosing the matter directly to a regulator. This has the advantage of enabling the business to consider and address any issues proactively…

    By Sean McAuley

    View more
  4. Blog12th Oct 2022

    Whistleblowers Aid HMRC’s Fight Against Furlough Fraudsters

    The COVID-19 furlough scheme was introduced to help millions of people and businesses through the pandemic. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) claim that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped to pay the wages of people in 11.7 million jobs and 1.3 million…

    By Sean McAuley

    View more

Share this page