The deadline to set up an internal reporting channel was in December 2023. The new regulation applies to all organisations with more than 49 employees. Read further to explore why your organisation should manage whistleblowing matters internally and how it helps build trust with your employees.
Why is it relevant now?
As of July 2, 2023, the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) has been applicable to organisations with 250 or more employees, and was extended to those with 49 or more employees in December 17, 2023. One of the key requirements is the establishment of a secure whistleblower system that allows reports to be submitted in writing, verbally, or in person if desired.
Additionally, the external Federal Reporting Office maintains a "regular professional exchange" with the whistleblowing offices of the Federal Cartel Office and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. This highlights the urgency for organisations to have an internal reporting solution in place, enabling in-house resolution without external oversight. A recent publishment by Federal Office of Justice, where more than 100 people in the period from July to September 12, 2023, reported to the authorities, underscore the significance of taking whistleblowing seriously.
Key takeaways for your business
Reporting via the internal reporting channel should be the preferred option for organisations. It offers the possibility of directly and internally investigating and remedying the reported violation – if grounded and validated through respective plausibility and sanity checks. Once the internal reporting system is in place, it is advisable to make your own employees aware of the system and how it can be used. Employees are closest to the day-to-day operations of your business and are therefore most likely to come into contact with potential grievances.
Futhermore, a whistleblowing system builds trust within an organisation because it offers employees a confidential avenue to report wrongdoing, unethical conduct, or compliance breaches. When employees are aware that they can report such issues without fear of reprisal, it cultivates a culture of transparency, accountability, and integrity. This, in turn, fosters trust among employees, as they have confidence that their concerns will be treated seriously and resolved appropriately.
The Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) has been in force since July 02, 2023. It implements the EU Whistleblowing Directive, which already came into force on December 16, 2019.
If a report is made via the whistleblower system, organisations must confirm receipt of the report within 7 days and provide information on the measures taken (if any) within 3 months. This may include, for example, an investigation committee set up to clarify the reported violation.
If, despite the existing obligation, an internal reporting channel is not established, this constitutes an administrative offense that can be punished with a fine of up to €50,000.
What are the next steps?
Your organisation has more than 49 employees and no Whistleblowing System in place?
Book DataGuard’s Whistleblowing solution now to
✅ enable your employees to report misconduct such as corruption, abuses of power or discrimination internally before complaints become public,
✅ get everything you need to comply with the EU Whistleblowing Directive,
✅ receive eye-level support to review case plausibility and to provide best practices and recommendations.
✅ Our team of experts will help you set up and optimise your whistleblowing system.
Book your Whistleblowing package now via self-checkout on your platform!