With the EU Whistleblower Directive in effect, how are organizations responding? In a chapter for The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual, StoneTurn explores what’s on the horizon.

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Whistleblowers help to prevent damage and detect threat or harm to the public interest that may otherwise remain hidden. However, they are often discouraged from reporting their concerns for fear of retaliation. For these reasons, the importance of providing effective whistleblower protection for safeguarding the public interest is increasingly acknowledged both at European and international level.

In April 2019, the European Parliament voted to overhaul whistleblower regulations and standardize protections across its 28 member countries against retaliation for speaking out. The deadline to implement the EU Whistleblower Directive was December 17, 2021.

The Directive is intended to offer more resources for whistleblowers to act and is meant to protect all individuals involved, including those affected by the report or disclosure. It expands the scope of whistleblower protection and will protect regular employees, civil servants, interns, volunteers, external contractors and suppliers, previous employees, and any individual who has become aware of violations prior to the start of their employment. Applicable organizations are obliged to establish both internal and external reporting channels with certain procedural requirements. This new legislation will also enhance confidentiality to ensure that all identities involved are protected and will prohibit whistleblower retaliatory measures.

In a Chapter for The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual 2023, Julia Arbery and Lisa Van Houten examine the Minimum Standards of the EU Whistleblower Directive, Challenges and Criticism, Suggested Practice Strategies for Effective Management, and provide guidance for how organizations can leverage whistleblowing and speak-up culture to harness a long-term positive impact.

Visit the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics’ website to access the full manual.