Whistleblowing articles and news

Integrity line

    What is an integrity line and how can it help your company?

    An integrity line is a secure, anonymous medium through which employees or other stakeholders within an organization can report suspicions or instances of wrongdoing, usually anonymously. An integrity line can also be known as an ‘ethics line’, a ‘hotline’, and an ‘honesty line’. While traditionally this was a physical phone line that people could actually call up, these days most of this kind of whistleblowing is done via an online whistleblowing platform. An open and transparent workplaceAs the name implies, an integrity line is a clear way for an organization to show that they are committed to creating a workplace that is open and honest, where integrity is valued. By providing a clear communication channel for their employees to alert them to any kind of misconduct, as well as offering their own suggestions for how the company could improve, they are demonstrating their commitment to these principles. The benefits of introducing an integrity lineAn integrity line has a range of benefits for both the organization that chooses to implement it and the employees that ultimately end up using it. For the organizationDemonstrate your values As mentioned above, an integrity line shows your employees you want them to feel empowered to speak up when something isn’t right. Compliance with whistleblowing legislation In the EU, it is now the law that any organization with more than 50 employees must have a whistleblowing channel such as an integrity line. It is a similar story in other countries and regions around the world.  Save money lost to fraud and theft On average, 5% of a company’s annual revenue is lost to fraud, yet 3 times as many instances of fraud are unearthed via an integrity line than through traditional, expensive audits. Reduce staff turnover and the associated costs Did you know that 18% of employees leave their job due to a negative atmosphere in the workplace? On average, it costs the equivalent of 6 months’ salary to replace a disillusioned employee. An integrity line can help reduce the number of employees who leave your company. Improve productivity You might not believe it, but an integrity line can even lead to an increase in productivity in your organization by removing bad actors and boosting morale. This is what happened with one of FaceUp’s clients, the Brno Municipal Office. Discover potentially lucrative ideas As hinted at above, an integrity line is not just a tool for receiving reports of malpractice, but can also be a fertile source of new product ideas or other suggestions for improvements. Avoid unwanted media attention Allowing for issues to be reported and resolved through an integrity line means that you can keep the matter inside your organization and sidestep a situation where the person affected feels compelled to speak out in the media. For the employeeHave the chance to speak up something’s not right Knowing that your employer has an established whistleblowing channel provides peace of mind to employees who know they have the means to speak up if they witness something untoward. Protect themselves from retaliation Since most integrity lines are anonymous (like FaceUp), whistleblowers know that they won’t face a backlash or have their career prospects harmed by sending a report. How to ensure your employees use your integrity lineOnce you have decided to introduce an integrity line, you need to ensure people use it. Here at FaceUp we wrote a whole blog post on this subject, but the key takeaways are the following: A clear communication plan so your staff know the line existsTraining and guidance on how to use itAssigning personnel to investigate the reports you receiveGuaranteeing confidentiality through an anonymous reporting feature is also crucial to the uptake of the system. Which integrity line to choose?There are a whole host of integrity lines and other whistleblowing systems on the market today, making it tricky to decide which one is right for your business. Again, FaceUp is here to help! We compiled a comprehensive list of the current best options in terms of integrity lines, to make your life a little easier. FaceUpFaceUp is a secure, intuitive and easy to use integrity line with a rich set of features including a customizable suggestion form and advanced suggestion management, both available in 113 languages.  It provides the highest level of data protection and anonymity - it is GDPR compliant, ISO 27001 certified and offers E2E encryption and 2FA. FaceUp can easily be integrated with your company intranet, website, or app through API. For a reasonably priced, feature-rich system with the highest level of security and usability, why not give FaceUp a try? Book a consultation with our specialist today.
    4 min read
    Ethics hotline whistleblowing
    • Whistleblowing

    What is an ethics hotline?

    An ethics hotline is a way for employees or other company stakeholders to report instances of wrongdoing or offer suggestions for improvements. An ethics hotline used to simply refer to a physical phone line that was used for whistleblowing, whereas now the meaning has expanded to include whistleblowing software more generally. You may also hear an ethics hotline referred to as a whistleblowing hotline, speak-up line, fraud line plus a number of other names. How does an ethics hotline work?When a whistleblower wishes to alert a company’s management of their suspicions, they can do so through an ethics hotline. Traditionally, this would mean calling an ethics hotline on a physical phone, or leaving a note in a trust box. However, these days the most common method is to use an online whistleblowing system, which has the added bonus of anonymity for the whistleblower, plus a range of other helpful features. The report is received by the individual in the company who is designated to deal with them (known as the ‘assignee’) and the matter is subsequently looked into. Some whistleblowing systems, such as FaceUp, then allow for follow up communication between whistleblower and assignee. Who counts as a whistleblower?A whistleblower is anyone who works in or for an organization with suspicions that some kind of misconduct of wrongdoing is taking place. Wrongdoing can range from bullying and harassment, through to fraud and theft.  Whistleblowers are most commonly company employees, but can also be suppliers, contractors, freelancers, or anyone else who interacts with an organization. What are the benefits of an ethics line?A properly implemented ethics line will: help foster a culture of openness and transparencyprotect the whistleblower from retaliationreduce money lost to fraud or employee turnoverprotect your reputation by keeping matters internalimprove productivity by removing unprofessional employeesunearth areas for improvementensure your organization remains compliant with the relevant whistleblowing legislation in your regionIs an ethics line required by law?If your organization is within the EU and has more than 50 employees/members of staff, then a whistleblowing channel is required by law according to the EU Whistleblowing Directive. If you are outside the EU, for example in the US or Africa, the legislation varies, but a lot of organizations are still required to implement some form of whistleblowing hotline either by the law in their territory or in order to remain compliant with any standards or certifications they are signed up to. In any case, whether or not it is required by law, implementing a trusted, secure ethics hotline has huge benefits for your organization, as outlined in previous paragraphs. What are the best practices to bear in mind when using a whistleblowing hotline?The way in which your organization implements and utilizes a whistleblowing hotline is key to its success. You don’t want to introduce a new tool, with the associated costs, only for it not to be used. It’s important to first communicate the implementation of the ethics hotline, ensuring that all stakeholders know of its existence and how they can go about submitting reports. You should then subsequently remind your teams to use the hotline at a later date if they are not already and provide ongoing training to make sure they are getting the most out of the system. It is crucial that you set your internal policies, including who is going to be responsible for handing the reports which are submitted through your new whistleblowing hotline and the protocols regarding escalation to senior management and investigation of any issues discovered. Your staff also need to know who these people are. Which ethics hotline should I choose?There are a whole host of different ethics lines on the market today, including AllVoices, EQS Integrity Line, Globaleaks and others. Why not take a look at G2’s whistleblowing hotline section for a full comparison? FaceUp is proud to have a 4.9/5 star rating on this well-respected review site. Alternatively, we also put together a list of some of the leading contenders in a recent post, so why not take a look at that too?  Are you looking for en ethics hotline?For a reasonably priced, feature-rich ethics line with the highest level of security and usability, why not give FaceUp a try? Book a consultation with our whistleblower specialist today.
    3 min read
    • Whistleblowing

    Whistleblower Hotline: How to Implement an Effective and Confidential Reporting System

    A whistleblower hotline, sometimes known as an ‘ethics line’ or a ‘whistleblowing platform’ more generally, is a way for your employees to anonymously speak up when they witness misconduct, workplace bullying, fraud, or simply wish to offer suggestions and ideas for improvements. These days, a whistleblower hotline is usually a standalone online tool, or is part of a HR programme through which individuals can submit reports, usually anonymously. In the past, whistleblower hotlines were often actual telephone lines that employees could call to express their concerns, or a physical trust box where slips of paper with the report details could be deposited.  Why introduce a whistleblowing hotline?Introducing a whistleblowing hotline has a multitude of benefits.  Primarily, they are a sign to your employees that you are an open and transparent company which values feedback and takes concerns of misconduct seriously. Moreover, providing your employees an anonymous channel to share their concerns demonstrates that they will not be on the receiving end of any recrimination or abuse for doing so. This in turn can mean that they stay with you for longer, thus saving your company on the recruitment and onboarding costs associated with high employee turnover Financial gains can also be felt in other ways, such as the prevention of internal fraud and other loss prevention due to whistleblowing, as well as the increases in productivity brought about by a happier, more engaged workforce. Effective implementationOf course, choosing the right whistleblowing hotline is only the first step. Effective implementation is key to ensuring that the system is used and valued by everyone in your organization. It is important to devise a communication plan for the introduction of the whistleblowing system, utilizing internal channels such as email and intranet to make sure all stakeholders are aware that the system is available for use.  It is also key to offer some kind of training and guidance materials so that your employees know how to get the best out of the system that you have chosen and that it is truly serving the purpose for which it was brought in. FaceUp provides its clients with examples of communication templates and guidance materials so make all this run as smoothly as possible. Finally it’s important to decide who will be responsible for receiving and resolving reports, whether that’s within your company, perhaps in the HR department, or an external specialist. Why choose FaceUp whistleblowing hotline?FaceUp represents a perfect choice for any organization, big or small, looking to introduce a whistleblowing hotline. FaceUp whistleblowing system is rich in features such as anonymity, attachments, customizable forms, follow up communication, the ability to set deadlines and allocate assignees to reports, plus much more. FaceUp also ensures that you meet all the requirements of the EU Whistleblowing Directive and other whistleblowing laws around the work, plus it helps you adhere to the stipulations of any certifications and standards you employ in your operation.  Are you looking for the whistleblowing hotline?For a reasonably priced, feature-rich ethics line with the highest level of security and usability, why not give FaceUp a try? Book a consultation with our whistleblower specialist today.
    3 min read
    Compliance hotline vendors & whistleblowing softwares 2023
    • Whistleblowing
    • Compliance

    Compliance hotline vendors & whistleblowing softwares 2023

    It can be tricky to decide which compliance hotline / whistleblowing software is best suited to your organization and will also ensure that you are compliant with the applicable laws and directives in your territory. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best compliance and ethics hotline vendors and whistleblowing software providers on the market in 2023. FaceUp Whistleblowing systemG2 rating: 4.9 out of 5  G2 reviewer: "TOP Compliance & Whistleblowing Solution for any Company" Pricing: from €49 /month  FaceUp is an intuitive and easy to use whistleblowing solution and ethics hotline. FaceUp provides the absolute highest level of data protection and anonymity - it is GDPR compliant, ISO 27001 certified and offers E2E encryption and 2FA. The whistleblowing software has a rich set of features, FaceUp can easily be integrated through API with company intranet, website, or app.  Key features:    Hotline   Compliant with legal regulations and GDPR   Anonymous reporting   Voice messages   Two-way follow up communications   Completely customizable form   Advanced report management (labels, priorities, internal comments)   113 language versions   Mobile versions   Two-factor authentication   E2E encryption Elker G2 rating: Not ratings yet Pricing: Price on request Elker is a powerful and configurable anonymous reporting platform. It empowers employees to voice concerns on issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, financial misconduct, and work health and safety. Crafted by legal professionals with a deep understanding of Australia's regulatory landscape, Elker aligns with key Australian legislation including the Sex Discrimination Act, Workplace Health and Safety laws, Corporations Act, Public Interest Disclosure Act, and Respect@Work reforms. Key features: Advanced case managementGroup reportingPulse surveysAnalyticsIn-app legal expertisePersonalised onboardingsEnd-to-end encryption Built with ISO 27001 standardsAll languages Auto-translation GlobaleaksG2 rating: 4.2 out of 5  G2 reviewer: "Loved the anonymous experience" Pricing: depends on a reseller GlobaLeaks is free, open-source whistleblowing software. Its open-source nature allows for transparency and community-driven development. If you are lost in customizing the whistleblowing platform, there have been different resellers, who can help with setting up the system for different prices. Thanks to GlobaLeaks everybody can have a secure and anonymous whistleblowing system. Key features: Manage multiple whistleblowing sites from a single dashboardExchange multimedia files with whistleblowerChat with whistleblower to discuss the reportWhistleblowing system statisticsCompliant with ISO 37002 and EU Directive 2019/1937GDPR configurable data retention policiesMultiple penetration tests with full public reportsTwo-Factor authentication (2FA) support compliant with standard TOTP RFC 6238 Convercent - Ethics and Compliance CloudG2 rating: 4.2 out of 5 G2 reviewer: "I would strongly recommend Convercent for your compliance solution." Pricing: from 135€ /month Ethics and Compliance Cloud (aka Convercent by OneTrust) is an ethics and compliance hotline provider that helps companies instill ethics at the core of their organizations. The Ethics Cloud includes: Helpline & Case Management, Campaigns, Policy Management, and Disclosures tools. The solution does not have mobile or desktop applications. Key features:    Hotline   Anonymous reporting   Reporting & Statistics   ISO 27001 certified   Incident Management   Notification for whistleblower AllvoicesG2 rating: 4.5 out of 5 G2 reviewer: "Modern and Easy to Use Tool for Anonymous Feedback" Pricing: from 100$ /month AllVoices is an anonymous reporting platform built by experts to uncover & resolve workplace issues by giving employees a safe space to speak up. The hotline is designed to help businesses encourage employees to anonymously provide feedback, ask questions, share positive input, and report various issues related to workplace bullying, harassment, bias, and other incidents. AllVoices allows organizations to secure confidential information via Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) standards. Key features:    Reports and statistics   Tracking and management of employee feedback   2-way communication EQS Integrity line  G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 G2 reviewer: "Hotlines for Participant Productions" Pricing: from €129 /month  EQS Integrity Line is a secure, anonymous whistleblowing hotline used all around the world. The encrypted channel guarantees the highest possible protection for whistleblowers. The hotline platform enables managers to secure data in accordance with ISO 27001 and general data protection regulation (GDPR) compliance protocols. EQS Integrity Line allows teams to translate reports in multiple languages and gain insights into real-time case-related statistics on a centralized dashboard.  Key features:    Reporting form   Multiple language versions   Anonymous reporting   Case management Real-time statistics The importance of compliance ethic hotline and whistleblowing software have emerged as crucial tools for organizations and their employees to help build better company culture and a safe workplace. Many companies need to implement a GDPR compliant whistleblower solution, which will be fully secured and which will allow the whistleblowers to report anonymously. Are you looking for the compliance hotline solution?Get in touch with our whistleblower specialist today to arrange a free demo.
    3 min read
    Whistleblowing channels Comparison
    • Whistleblowing

    The Grand comparison of whistleblowing channels. What is the best solution?

    There are many ways to tick off the legal requirement for an internal whistleblowing channel. For those of you who want to enable people to safely speak up, we have a comparison of the individual tools side by side, with regard to the conditions of the new proposal for whistleblowing protection law. Phone lineIt takes a lot of courage for an employee to reach out via phone call. Phone call forces the person to describe the context without a chance to read and review what they want to say or to attach any form of evidence such as a document, a photo, or other files. This solution lacks information about who is dealing with the report and what its current state is. In small teams, there’s also no guarantee of anonymity, as the employee’s voice can easily be recognized (what if there’s only one woman on the team?). Requires creating a new anonymous account or numberDoesn’t allow the notifier to think everything through and review what they want to shareThe reporter can’t attach any documents and evidenceAnonymity can’t be guaranteedThe line isn’t always available but is subjected to the work hours of the responsible personAccording to the new law proposal, the received reports will have to be stored in written formEmail E-mail at least eliminates the possibility to identify the notifier by their voice. But different obstacles can arise. Imagine yourself in the shoes of an employee from an older generation who’s already nervous enough about wanting to share a problem with you. If you expose them to the lengthy process of creating an anonymous e-mail, they will likely give up on it instead. Moreover, it will be a chore to create order within all the anonymous correspondence. Not to mention that it will be difficult to collaborate on resolving the issues safely with other colleagues. Requires creating an anonymous e-mail addressYou’re likely to get lost in all the incoming anonymous correspondenceMore people can’t collaborate on resolving issues at the same time, on top of which the notifier does not know the current state.It’s a cheap solutionOnline whistleblowing channel An online trust box platform enables anyone to speak up about anything safely and anonymously. In addition, it provides the whistleblower with an overview of what is happening with his report and the company solver can even establish a dialogue. In the administration of online reporting channels, the solvers can see the status and number of active reports. They can collaborate with other colleagues on the solution and possibly view supporting materials, such as attached photos or documents. Access to the channel can also be given to the customers, job seekers, or even suppliers. Choose an online whistleblowing channel wisely. Ensure it meets all the demands that will soon be required from you and that it’s truly safe. It’s good to check how the personal data is handled, whether all the messages are encrypted, and if the ISO certification is present. The whistleblower’s anonymity is guaranteed as long as they want to have itThey can attach any documents and other forms of evidenceThe solvers can establish a dialogue with the whistleblower without putting their anonymity at riskNo need for creating an accountIt’s available also for suppliers, customers, and other kinds of whistleblowersThere can be an option to include third parties in solving a certain topic (e.g. your lawyers or the company psychologist)Physical mailbox A physical mailbox is a good start. But how to follow up on an anonymous correspondence that arrives in the mailbox? How to find out further details, if someone mentions a serious issue and you’re lacking essential information needed for resolving it? A physical mailbox can be seen as a survival of time, especially among younger colleagues. At the same time, it isn’t compliant with the requirements of the new proposal for the whistleblower protection law, which encourages companies to make their whistleblowing channel accessible also to current job seekers or suppliers. Maintaining anonymity can also become tricky. The whistleblower is risking being seen throwing a report into the box by someone. The whistleblower is risking being seen using the mailboxIt’s not an ideal solution for the younger generations that are more comfortable with online platformsYou have no chance to ask for further information nor to follow up on the report, in case it’s anonymousCustomers and suppliers have no way of expressing their concerns if they don’t have access to the mailboxWe’ll be happy to show you what FaceUp can do. Check out our whistleblowing system and schedule a demo today.
    4 min read

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