The European Whistleblower Protection Directive (EUWBD) comes into force in just under 1,5 years. When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was put into place, a lot of attention was given to it. In the case of the EUWBD, we see a lot less attention given to it. Could this have something to do with the fact that complying with the EUWBD in itself is not extremely complex? Or is it linked to the fact that there has been no mentioning of large fines as of yet? We described how we can help you to comply in our previous blog on this topic.
We think that many organisations do not (yet) realise that the implications of the EUWBD go much further than merely complying with the technical requirements. The EUWBD will provide protection for reporters in a way that is unprecedented. It is highly likely that this protection will motivate many employees to voice concerns which they have previously kept for themselves.
Because the EUWBD leaves it at the discretion of the reporter to decide via which channel they deem it suitable or appropriate to voice their concerns, there is much less control over where your employees will report. Will they choose either your internal channel, the national authorities or a media outlet? The risks of not taking into account the implications of the EUWBD in full view are not explicit. Implicitly however, organisations will face tremendous risks: who wants to be informed about their problems in the newspaper? How will you feel when a government agency comes knocking on your door and you have no idea why?
Building a true SpeakUp culture is the only way to protect yourself as an organisation: by motivating your employees to report internally. Ask yourself: ‘Is our misconduct reporting system really tailored towards true enhancement of our open reporting culture?’ If this is not the case, now is the time to start making improvements!
Want to know how we can help your organisation in this endeavour? Keep following us for more practical insights on building, communication, awareness and transparency with regards to the SpeakUp culture topic!