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The EU Whistleblowing Directive: Are you ready?

Are you ready?

If you are using our SpeakUp® solution, we know you most probably can answer: “Sure, we are good to go!”. If you are still reading, you might be working in a legal profession, as a compliance officer, or HR expert, and are one of the professionals responsible for helping your organisation to be compliant with the EU Whistleblowing Directive (which will be referred to as “the Directive” from this point on). This topic could be yours to tackle.

So, once again, are you ready?

Let’s take a step back. One of the upcoming developments for 2021 is the transposition of the Directive. We, at People Intouch, think this is great news! In our view, the European Commission shows how much it values the reporting of perceived wrongdoing and the protection of people who report. And we need this to tackle some issues. The longstanding problem is that the protection of whistleblowers is fragmented or even absent across the EU and uneven across policy areas.

The major advantage of this piece of European legislation is that it bypasses national legislation and so guarantees a minimum standard for the protection of reporters. EU-members and organisations can still decide to offer more protection. And this is what we like to encourage and support. Because in our view, the Directive is also a minimum where you as professional and company are invited to draft your own SpeakUp policy.

Any organisation has a very important objective to achieve next to the objective of being compliant with ‘whistleblowing’ law. This objective entails: early transparency by means of speaking up, so that ethical wrongdoing can be detected as early as possible. Building your own culture where it is safe to speak up!

So how can I be compliant with the law then?

This is a very good question. Tracking the developments of the Directive is one thing. But also, it is not clear yet how the law is going to be transposed into national laws, so the Directive is not set in stone yet. This makes it complicated and also challenges you to make up your own mind. Maybe you work for a global multinational with headquarters all around the world, where it is a huge puzzle or even impossible to abide to all the rules the national transposition laws state!

What about this question: How can I build a transparent organisation where it is safe to speak up?!

All laws aside, we invite you to start with the bigger picture. Then, check the Directive. It already suggests a 3-tier system, the first step of which is setting up a good internal reporting system. SpeakUp® is one of the tools you could use here to facilitate this anonymous dialogue.

So for now, start thinking about how to build a transparent organisation and take some time to check all of your internal reporting channels and procedures, as it is set up now.

If you need help with that and other aspects to take into account with this process, please request our whitepaper we wrote for our clients using SpeakUp®. You might also benefit from the aspects we learned from our clients you could take into account.

“I am a bit puzzled now, I am starting to doubt if I am ready yet. It seems not as clear-cut to be compliant with the Directive as I had hoped yet.”

A lot of professionals are struggling with setting up whistleblowing procedure that is compliant  with all the laws, now that there is so much unclear. We receive a lot of questions. Know that you are not alone in this.

Want to read further? Please check the box for some tips.



  1. Start with this question “How can I build a transparent organisation where it is safe to speak up?” Read “The EU Whistleblowing Directive: A Call for Ethical Leadership”.
  2. Check the progress of transposition across all 27 Member States here: Polimeter – EU Directive on Whistleblowing
  3. Read “Are EU governments taking whistleblower protection seriously?”, written by Transparency International on the progress on transposition of the EU Directive.

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