The EU Whistleblowing Directive in Ireland
Legal
Whistleblowing

The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022. Whistleblowing EU Directive in Ireland

Ireland is preparing to implement the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 which dramatically expands who is covered by whistleblowing laws. Additionally, the act places the burden of proof on employers in cases involving suspected retaliation against the whistleblower. Under the law, every organization with 50 employees or more must establish formal channels and procedures for “protected disclosures” (AKA whistleblowing). The act also expands the list of those protected to include job applicants, volunteers, shareholders, and board members. Employers must monitor the whistleblowing channels, follow up on reports, and give feedback on all communication received via these channels.  Finally, if someone believes they were punished for whistleblowing, it is incumbent on the company to prove their actions(such as firing or docking of hours) were not retaliatory. Get ready for January 1st, 2023Ireland and the Whistleblower legislationIreland is the 11th country to adopt a new law by implementing the EU Whistleblowing Directive. The new whistleblowing legislation will go into effect on January 1st, 2023. Get a secure and anonymous whistleblowing channel for whistleblowers to help them speak up and meet requirements by Irish national law. Whistleblowing system in IrelandAll private sector organizations with more than 50 employees are obliged to provide an internal whistleblowing system. FaceUp offers the #1 rated whistleblowing system: 👉 Irish whistleblowing law and GDPR compliant, ISO certified.  👉 Whistleblowers are able to report anonymously - writing and orally. 👉 5 minutes implementation without the need for IT department. 👉 Administration and completely customizable form, both available in 113 languages.  👉 Secured with 2FA, E2E encryption, and penetration testing. 👉 Cooperation with partners - psychologists, lawyers, etc. And we offer much more! How FaceUp can help you to comply with the EU Whistleblowing Directive in Ireland? Get a 1-to-1 demo.
2022-11-24T08:49:12.360Z1 min read
Whistleblowing system
Whistleblowing

Protecting whistleblowers pays off handsomely for companies

According to the EU Whistleblowing Directive, all companies in the EU with more than 50 employees must introduce an internal reporting channel to provide protection for whistleblowers. Whistleblowers will be able to share their suspicions of corruption and other similar risks that they have encountered through their work activities with an authorised individual.  The EU Whistleblowing Directive sets out rules and procedures to protect whistleblowers, i.e. employees who report information pertaining to breaches of EU law obtained in a work-related context. The directive covers a range of potential rule breaches, various people working in both the private and public sector, and complements existing EU whistleblowing legislation.  “Whistleblowing is a relatively new concept for many European companies, yet in the West it’s considered to be one of the most effective ways that companies can protect their reputations, employees, assets, and company culture.” According to last year’s global study by ACFE, as much as 43% of fraud detection originates in reporting, which is three times more than in internal auditing. This not insignificant figure is compounded by the fact that the average European firm loses 5% of its annual revenue due to internal fraud.  Whistleblowing as preventionBesides the detection of fraud, a properly set up whistleblowing system helps to establish a positive company culture, fosters trust in the organisation, builds employee loyalty, and protects the company’s reputation. Last but not least, the existence of such a system can have a preventative effect.  Whistleblowing doesn’t just have to be a means of reporting misconduct. More and more companies treat it as a benefit for employees who can safely and anonymously flag anything that is difficult to raise in person. This embeds a culture of openness and, more significantly, reduces employee turnover. There is a good reason why it is said that all the free company breakfasts in the world can’t compare with the message a company’s management sends its employees.  The imperative of listening to employees is underlined by other studies which say that:43% of employees are unhappy or demotivated at workOne in five leave due to better and fairer treatmentIn addition, 23% of employees have experienced bullying in the workplace and 38% of women have been sexually harassed.All of these problems could be avoided if a company’s management sent a clear signal to their employees that their views and concerns mattered and could be shared without fear of the consequences. Even if there is a culture of openness within a company, there are still issues which are difficult to talk about in person.  Suggestion boxes and telephone hotlines no longer cut itUntil recently some companies used a physical trust box or a telephone hotline for whistleblowing. However, such tools attract criticism not just because employees are embarrassed to use them but because they don’t fulfill the requirements set out by the new directive. Therefore, more and more companies are turning to modern online solutions such as the FaceUp platform (FaceUp.com) which offers whistleblowers anonymity and allows for further communication by chat where any enquiries can be made and all complaints can be resolved.  It is precisely this type of reporting channel which sets apart the companies who want to meet their employees’ needs and treat the law as an opportunity. Their employees will then back this up. There is a big difference between companies who only pay lip service to whistleblowing and those who introduce a secure, user-friendly platform which sends a clear signal to their employees that they can raise concerns without fear.  We would be happy to answer all of your questions about whistleblowing. Let's talk. 
2022-03-29T16:07:05.384Z3 min read
ISO 37002.png
Compliance
Legal
Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing guidelines: what you need to know about ISO 37002

At the end of July 2021, the International Organisation for Standardisation published ISO 37002:2021 (ISO 37002 Whistleblowing management systems - Guidelines). This standard is a guide for the effective implementation of an internal whistleblowing and  management system related to this. Together with previously published standards (in particular ISO 37302), it forms the first global standard to fully address whistleblowing. The new ISO 37002 provides guidance for establishing and maintaining an effective whistleblowing system based on the principles of trust, impartiality and protection. The standard can therefore prove to be a very useful guide for employers in establishing and using internal whistleblowing systems in accordance with legislative requirements (the EU Whistleblowing Directive and the forthcoming Czech Whistleblower Protection Act). However, unlike the legislation, it does not focus so much on whistleblowers, but targets organisations directly. It seeks to minimise the negative impact of any possible wrongdoing. According to ISO 37002, the important elements are: information securityensuring an anonymous dialogue with the whistleblowerprotection of whistleblowers The FaceUp platform is fully compliant with all current legislative requirements and the recommendations of the new ISO 37002 standard. What can ISO 37002 help you with?While the legislative requirements generally tell you what you need to do, ISO 37002 provides very specific and detailed instructions on how to do it. The standard can be implemented in any private, public or not-for-profit organisation, regardless of size or business sector. It is a broadly applicable standard - it emphasises consideration of the context, needs and expectations of the organisation and adapts the whistleblowing management system to these actualities.  According to ISO 37002, you should devote plentyt of time and attention to the  preparation and planning of an internal whistleblowing system, from securing all resources, allocating responsibilities, determining how to communicate through an ethical line or other whistleblowing channel, to documentation, etc. The standard sets out the content of the obligations for employers, defining individual roles, responsibilities and authorities. A substantial part of the standard is devoted to the actual process of managing the whistleblowing notifications received, which is naturally the most important part of the whole whistleblowing management system. On the other hand, the standard also emphasises the importance of other consecutive follow-up  (e.g. planning or subsequent evaluation of the effectiveness of the system).  The whole whistleblowing management process is divided into several key steps: Receipt of the notification of the violation,Assessment of the notification ,Management of  the whistleblowing - this  also includes providing protection and support to whistleblowers,Closing the case.According to ISO 37002, it is also necessary to focus on assessing the effectiveness of the internal whistleblowing system and to address its monitoring, analysis and subsequent evaluation. The recommendation is to conduct regular internal audits, the findings of which should help improve the whistleblowing management system. At the same time, it foresees that the system can be adapted at any time during its use to better suit the needs of your organisation and to be truly effective. Certification options and other standards for compliance management systemsAs stated directly in the title of the new ISO standard (Whistleblowing management systems - Guidelines), it is one of the so-called guidelines, i.e. standards of a more general nature, and therefore cannot be certified. However, you can certify your internal whistleblowing channel as part of a complete compliance management system according to ISO 37301 Compliance management systems - Requirements with guidance for use. In the context of whistleblowing, the (also certifiable) ISO 37001 Anti-bribery management systems standard, which deals with the protection against corrupt behaviour and establishes anti-corruption management systems, is also frequently referred to. Implementing these standards will ensure that your organisation's internal whistleblowing channel is truly effective and in line with all international standards. Interested in implementing ISO 37002 or any of the other ISO standards listed? We would be happy to explain the specific requirements and help you with the certification process. Let's talk. 
2022-03-21T09:40:05.238Z3 min read
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Legal
Whistleblowing

Who actually is a whistleblower?

Whistleblowers – who are they, and why will we hear more about them this year? A whistleblower, in its literal sense, is the one who blows the whistle. Not at a football match, but in a situation where they witness real-life unfair practices. Either as an employee, a customer, or a supplier. It can often concern corruption, but it can also be in situations where someone’s health or the environment is at risk. Whether ignorance, corruption, or something else leading to bad decisions resulting in accidents, damage to health and the environment, or even misappropriation of public finances. But whistleblowers don’t wait around the corner to catch someone in the act. It can be someone who accidentally witnessed injustice, and is struggling to decide, whether to come out with the truth or keep everything to themselves. Usually, the first ones to find out about such slips are employees who notice iniquities during their work that could cause difficulties for their employer or management, or stumble across information that suggests possible harm or threat to the public interest. Therefore, by reporting the wrongdoings, the whistleblower can protect the public interest. Unfortunately, this often puts both the professional and personal life of the whistleblower at risk. This fear of retaliation also becomes the main reason why people are afraid to report unfair practices. The general approach to protecting whistleblowers varies significantly in different jurisdictions. In France, for example, there is very little specific statutory protection for whistleblowers. However, the French National Commission for Data Protection and Liberties (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) (CNIL) imposes a duty to protect those who make a complaint.  However, some jurisdictions have a unified approach to whistleblower protection. In Japan and the UK, for instance, a single law provides protection for whistleblowers in both the private and public sectors and covers complaints related to a broad range of misconduct. Protection for whistleblowers in other jurisdictions such as the US is set out in various sources, including: federal and state law and statutory and common law. European Union Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of whistleblowers came into force on 16 December 2019. EU member states now have until 2021 to incorporate the directive into their own national laws. FaceUp aims to be the tool that will help companies with adjusting to the whistleblowing protection law. It aims to ensure law compliance to the employer and offer support for employees, who can feel safe if they ever need to ‘blow the whistle’ to help uncover unfair practices at work or more.
2021-04-07T10:36:04.179Z2 min read
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