Whistleblowing articles and news


‘I recommend FaceUp to other companies whenever whistleblowing comes up’, says Rohia Hakim from CTP Invest

CTP Invest is the largest owner, developer and manager of logistics and industrial property in Europe. In 25 years they have become the largest publicly traded I&L developer in Europe and currently has around 900 employees and external workers. CTP Invest introduced a whistleblowing system in 2022 for several reasons. Besides getting themselves prepared for the new whistleblower protection law, the company’s leadership wanted to increase their credibility, accessibility, and also to provide the option for anonymous reporting. Compliance Officer Rohia Hakim, who has more than 10 years of experience in the compliance field, was in charge of the implementation of the whistleblowing system. Mrs. Hakim describes what was important in implementing the whistleblowing system: I consider the choice of whistleblowing tool to be key. Unfortunately, many contradictions still persist, such as a trust box next to the manager’s door, sitting under a CCTV camera. And as always, clear communication is important. Employees must be assured that their reports will be properly investigated and that they won’t face any kind of backlash if their report was made in good faith.  Why did you choose FaceUp?For me, an important factor was security and clear report management. FaceUp is also available in all the languages and jurisdictions in which we operate. Another plus was their compliance with ISO standards and GDPR requirements. I like the simplicity, accessibility and affordability of the platform. Moreover, I was intrigued by the story behind FaceUp’s founding and the fact that by using their platform, we are contributing towards a good thing – combating bullying in schools. FaceUp has absolutely fulfilled my expectations.” Mrs. Hakim explains that when introducing a whistleblowing platform in her organization, she had to start by explaining exactly what one was and what its benefits were: “It’s important right at the beginning to create a positive view of the tool’s effectiveness in tackling fraud and corruption. Any negativity, e.g. from management, can completely derail your efforts to set up effective whistleblowing. It’s also important to choose the right assignee, someone with experience in the area, but who most importantly has the confidence of employees.” CTP Invest first notified their employees about FaceUp via email, then through the company intranet and compliance training. They also included information about whistleblowing on their website, in their code of ethics and in other guidelines and company documents. So how did the employees react to its implementation? Our employees reacted positively to the FaceUp whistleblowing system. Almost immediately we received several suggestions on how to improve our working environment through the application. In total, we have received 45 reports through FaceUp since its introduction, compared to 0 before. Every report was relevant. The benefits are clear. Employees have been given a signal that we take their reports seriously, which is why we have enabled an external solution to give whistleblowers the chance to send reports securely and truly anonymously.  CTP Invest have largely received suggestions to improve their company culture through FaceUp, or matters concerning their working environment - more specifically, conflict in the workplace. “I recommend FaceUp to other companies whenever whistleblowing comes up,” concludes Rohia Hakim.
7/10/20233 min read

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.
6/9/20233 min read
what is whistleblowing system for companies

What is a whistleblowing system?

A whistleblowing system is a comprehensive mechanism that includes allowing employees to submit reports, the receiving and processing of reports, and resolving the problems reported.  It must be user-friendly and beneficial to both the company and the whistleblowers. Let's take a look at the key elements of a whistleblowing system. Reporting channelsA whistleblowing system must provide a secure, reliable, and easy way to submit reports. When introducing an internal reporting system, it is also important to consider that whistleblowers should have the option to submit reports in writing, orally, and in person.  Companies can choose from multiple reporting channels and combine them differently, such as whistleblowing software, phone lines, email boxes, physical mailboxes (i.e. a trust box), and personal meetings with the person designated  to receive reports.  The foundation of an internal reporting system usually consists of specialized whistleblowing software like FaceUp, which has the advantage of being available anytime and anywhere, ensuring the safety of reporters, allowing ongoing communication after the report has been submitted, and offering easy and clear report management, including those received from other sources. They can also be easily linked to the company's compliance system. More about the benefits of whistleblowing systems can be found here.  Report assigneeThe second key element of a whistleblowing system is the designated person who receives and deals with the reports (i.e. relevant person). They are the only person who is in (direct) contact with the whistleblower and who is allowed to familiarize themselves with the contents of the report.  If requested by the whistleblower, the relevant person must be able to receive the report face to face. In addition to evaluating the validity of the report, the assignee proposes solutions to the problem and is responsible for informing the whistleblower about the report's acceptance and outcomes.  Therefore, it is important to choose the right person. They should be knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities, understand the legal requirements of whistleblowing, and have received proper training and education.  Employees from compliance and HR departments are usually appointed to this position, along with or corporate lawyers. If no suitable person is found within the organization, an external person can also be appointed. Moreover, it is possible, advisable even, to have multiple assignees and allocate them different areas of concern. Internal policiesThe final, but no less important, part of a whistleblowing system is properly informing employees and all interested parties of its implementation. The best way to do this is by adopting an internal whistleblowing policy that should:• explain the importance of whistleblowing • define the basic terms • specify possible reporting methods • explain who is covered by whistleblower protections • describe the process for handling reports • provide the name and contact information of the appropriate person As a minimum, it is essential to publish the ways employees can submit reports and the contact details (telephone number and email) for the assignee.Download our free template of whistleblowing policy. What are the advantages of a whistleblowing system?Implementing a whistleblowing system is not an easy task, but besides fulfilling legal obligations, it has many other benefits and is a worthwhile undertaking for companies. Here are some of the main advantages: • Prevention of legal disputes A whistleblowing system enables problems to be reported in a timely manner and resolved internally, avoiding situations that might otherwise lead to legal disputes. • Improvement of company culture When employees can safely report unethical or illegal practices in an organization, it can lead to a culture of openness and trust. • Protection of the company’s reputation A whistleblowing system protects the reputation of the company by enabling problems to be addressed before they become public and damage the company's reputation. • Increased productivity A whistleblowing system allows employees to report problems that might otherwise be ignored or left unresolved, thus eliminating obstacles that hinder the productivity and effectiveness of the organization. • Increased customer trust By implementing a whistleblowing system, a company demonstrates that it takes its ethical commitments seriously, which can have a positive impact on business relationships. Depending on the size and type of organization, the costs of implementing a whistleblowing system can be surprisingly low and in any case, can be considered a significant investment in the future prosperity of the company. Check out our pricing list of whistleblowing system and see how much you can save. Are you looking for the whistleblowing system?For a reasonably priced, feature-rich whistleblowing system with the highest level of security and usability, why not give FaceUp a try? Book a consultation with our whistleblower specialist today.
5/26/20234 min read
Anonymous Workplace Reporting Empowering Employees and Unveiling Benefits for Companies
Corporate culture

Anonymous Workplace Reporting: Empowering Employees and Unveiling Benefits for Companies

Anonymous workplace reporting is where employees or any other stakeholders of a business or organization notify the relevant person in that organization of unethical or illegal conduct, without fear of recrimination.  Allowing employees and other individuals to report misconduct or make general suggestions anonymously has a multitude of benefits. These include but are not limited to: Helping to create a culture of transparency and open communication, building trust within a workplaceProviding a secure channel where employees can request guidance, raise queries and make potentially transformative suggestionsProtecting whistleblowers from recrimination, ostracization, or any other negative consequences of speaking upAllowing employees to feel heard and valuedEnsuring your business or organization remains compliant with the relevant whistleblowing legislation in your regionFor example, if an employee feels that they are being bullied, harassed or otherwise mistreated by their line manager, but are afraid to speak up in case their career chances are affected as a result, they can choose to notify the authorized person within their company or organization anonymously and the matter can then be dealt with. Alternatively, if an employee notices an inefficiency in one of their work processes, but does not feel like they have the requisite authority to point it out, they can do so anonymously, potentially saving their company money and/or time. Implementing anonymous reporting in your organizationThere are several ways to implement an anonymous reporting channel in your organization. The most common forms this takes are: An online form: i.e through as whistleblowing platform such as FaceUp, or a designated reporting/feedback toolA hotline: often outsourced to a third party, which employees can call to report their concerns or suspicionsA suggestions/trust box: now a more old-fashioned approach, this is literally a physical box into which employees can drop notesWhen implementing an anonymous reporting tool, it is important to communicate it properly to your employees and offer training in using it. This fosters familiarity and comfort with the system and increases uptake and use. Case studies where anonymous reporting proved beneficialThe experience of company Vitkovice Steel, represents an interesting case study since they noticed that the implementation of an anonymous reporting channel actually led to the percentage of anonymous reports decreasing over time. To begin with, 70% of reports were under the cover of anonymity, eventually going down to 30%, bearing out the improvement in the workplace culture.  Another client, the Brno Municipal Office, found that the introduction of an anonymous whistleblowing platform led to the discovery of instances of bullying by a particular individual who was subsequently removed from the company. They then noticed an increase in productivity after this individual had left. Read about our clients experience with using the anonymous reporting system. ConclusionOverall, it is clear that introducing an anonymous reporting channel in your organization is hugely beneficial in ensuring that employers and anyone else who interacts with your company has the means to report suspicions of wrongdoing or offer up suggestions for improvement, without fear of retribution or embarrassment. Clearly, there are challenges in implementing such a channel, notably in raising awareness of its existence, helping people learn to use it, and ensuring that they continue to use it on a regular basis.  However, these challenges can and must be overcome in order to create a safe, secure, open workplace where employees feel valued and empowered to speak up. Are you seeking to enhance transparency within your organization?Discover how to effectively implement an anonymous reporting platform tailored to your company's needs. Book a consultation with our whistleblower specialist today.
5/25/20233 min read

What is whistleblowing software?

Whistleblowing software (sometimes called an ‘ethics hotline’ or similar) is a channel, usually anonymous, by which employees or other stakeholders within a company or organization can report instances of wrongdoing or unethical conduct.  In the past, whistleblowing systems came in the form of telephone hotlines or physical trust boxes. These days, they are often stand-alone software platforms or a module within a HR tool. What are the main benefits of whistleblowing software?If you’re not convinced that your organization needs whistleblowing software, here are some of the key advantages implementing one can offer: A culture of openness and transparency First and foremost, offering an anonymous channel to report wrongdoing is a signal to your employees that you value them, that you want to create a workplace where people are free to speak out without fear of retaliation.  Anonymous reporting softwares in particular are extremely effective at unearthing unwanted behaviors, since they help prevent the ‘onlooker effect’, whereby people do nothing in the face of misconduct, wrongly assuming someone else will speak up instead. Reduce costs According to research, companies lose an average of 5% of their revenue to internal fraud. Whistleblowing software can help mitigate these losses. Furthermore, fostering the culture described in the point above helps to reduce staff turnover, which is both disruptive and costly in its own right. Protect your reputation No organization wants their dirty laundry aired in public. Without an established channel to anonymously report grievances, individuals are more likely to turn to external third parties. A whistleblowing channel facilitates the resolution of issues internally, without attracting the gaze of the media and outside world. Improve productivity Can introducing whistleblowing software really improve productivity? Well that’s exactly what happened with one of FaceUp’s clients, the Brno Municipal Office. They uncovered instances of bullying perpetrated by one particular individual. After the individual was dismissed, productivity in that office increased. Discover areas for improvement People might assume that a whistleblowing software is only for reporting misconduct. However, it can also be used as a way for employees to anonymously offer up valuable feedback, insights which a leadership team may not otherwise have known about and which could potentially save time and money, or represent a new revenue stream. Compliance with the relevant legislation in your region In the EU, it is now mandatory to have anonymous whistleblowing software for organizations with more than 50 employees. It is a similar story in other countries and regions around the world. A properly implemented whistleblowing software and policy is imperative for ensuring you stay in line with the latest legislation and standards. More about this below. Does my organization need whistleblowing software?All organizations could benefit from implementing whistleblowing software for the reasons outlined above. But if you are in the EU and your organization has more than 50 employees, then you definitely need to have whistleblowing software. You can read more about the EU whistleblowing directive here. Furthermore, if your organization adheres to any particular standards and certifications, such as ISO 37001 or IATF 16949 etc, then whistleblowing software is a must. Read more about standards and certifications and whistleblowing in our post. Which whistleblowing software should I choose?There are now a wide range of options when it comes to choosing whistleblowing software for your company. Fortunately, we did some of the hard work for you and put together a list of the best whistleblowing software and hotline vendors on the market in 2023. For more about how FaceUp could help your company, take a look at our (recently updated) whistleblowing software features.
5/9/20233 min read
whistleblowing policy in company
Corporate culture

Why a Whistleblowing Policy is Essential for Every Company

As the world places more and more emphasis on open and ethical business practices, having a clear whistleblowing policy in place has become critical. When they are developed and implemented properly, whistleblowing policies give employees a clear path to report problems, reduce or eliminate fallout from internal issues, and promote and protect a culture of transparency and accountability in the workplace.  Key features of a successful whistleblowing policyConfidentiality: When employees don’t feel protected, they stay silent. Your policy should ensure that employee reports are only shared with people who are in a position to address the issues raised. You should also, if possible, provide anonymous reporting options. Protection against retaliation: Employees need to know that if they come forward with a complaint, they will be protected from harassment or job loss. Your whistleblowing policy should explicitly state that internal retaliation will not be tolerated, and it should detail employees’ legal rights if they choose to report an issue.   Clear reporting procedures: Employees should know how to report their concerns, including who to contact, what information to provide, and the timeline for response and resolution.  Processes for resolution: Employees should know what to expect after they report an issue. Your policy should outline the process for investigating and resolving reports in a fair and impartial manner while respecting the rights of both the whistleblower and the accused. Implementing your whistleblowing policyImplementing a whistleblowing policy will look different for every company. Whatever the design of your policy, employees must have all the information they need to step forward. Educating employees can take various forms, including printed materials, emails, and training sessions. Make sure employees know how to make reports, what protections they are entitled to, and what counts as reportable conduct.   Creating and implementing a whistleblowing policy shouldn’t be seen as a one-off process. Change is inevitable in every company and your policy should follow suit. It should be regularly updated to evolve with your organization. Need a whistleblowing policy template to get started? If you need help creating a whistleblowing policy for your company, we encourage you to download our whistleblowing policy template. The template outlines universal issues or concerns that should be reported and can be easily adapted for your company’s needs.  Let us show you FaceUp in action
5/2/20232 min read
Corporate culture

Understanding Mobbing in the Workplace: Strategies for Prevention and Intervention

Mobbing is a form of workplace bullying where multiple employees gang up, literally forming a ‘mob’, to target a particular individual in order to isolate them from the group. Shallcross, Ramsay, and Barker define mobbing as “a deliberate attempt to force a person out of their workplace by humiliation, general harassment, emotional abuse, and terror”. Clearly, mobbing can lead to a host of negative consequences for the victim and the organizations where they work, including: Low employee job satisfactionReduced employee engagementPotential mental health problems for the victimConflict in the workplaceHigh levels of employees turnoverLower productivityPotential legal costs and loss of reputation How to recognise mobbingMobbing usually starts with two individuals, a ‘leader’ and a victim. The leader may be a charismatic, popular team member or manager who comes into conflict with the victim in some way, perhaps a disagreement on how to approach a task, or losing out on a promotion.  Victims can often be from a lower socio-economic background, or may be viewed as different in some way, for example their race or gender, or may simply be a high performer of whom others are jealous. The mob leader will commonly attempt to damage the victim’s reputation, start rumors or spread gossip and then discredit the victim’s complaints or gaslight them. This is designed to plant a seed in the minds of other employees who the leader will strive to get on their side. This then usually leads to a cycle of bullying and abuse from the mob towards the victim, including harassment, intimidation, even occasionally even physical harm. As the victim is left feeling isolated and ostracized, they often end up leaving the organization, or simply resigning themselves to the abuse, unable to speak out or report the abuse for fear of recrimination. How to combat mobbingFor those who suspect they are on the receiving end of mobbing, or feel like someone is acting towards them in a way which could potentially develop into bullying or mobbing, they can do a couple of key things.  The first is to establish boundaries with the bully, letting them know that certain behaviors are not acceptable, although this can be tough to do in practice.  The second thing the victim can do is to make a note of instances of mobbing, with the time, date, and names of any witnesses. This gives them something they can present to HR to back up their complaints. For organizations, there are a range of things they can do to prevent bullying and mobbing from becoming commonplace.  HR departments must have specific policies for addressing bullying and mobbing, not just simply policies that cover harassment.  Managers should look to foster an open, inclusive, and not overly competitive work environment to help prevent people from falling into mobbing or bullying out of fear for their own career chances. Finally, organizations can implement an anonymous reporting channel such as FaceUp, to give victims, and crucially any witnesses, a means to report mobbing without fear that the mob might turn on them. Such channels also contribute to promoting a culture of transparency and honest feedback. Get in touch with our whistleblower specialist today to arrange a free demo to see FaceUp whistleblowing system in action.
4/28/20233 min read
Compliance hotline vendors & whistleblowing softwares 2023

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 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.
4/13/20233 min read

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