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Your benefits at a glance
- Managed Service: all services from one source
- Ensuring compliance requirements
- Minimization of risks on the company side
- Worldwide network in case of international reports
- No software required in the company
Implementation of the "EU Whistleblowing Directive"
Due to the EU Whistleblowing Directive (2019/1937, HinSch-RL), which will apply from December 17, 2021, all companies – regardless of their legal form – and departments with more than 249 employees are obliged to set up an internal reporting channel through which whistleblowers can report certain legal violations. From December 17, 2023, this obligation will then apply to all companies with 50 or more employees.
The directive has not yet been transposed into German law. However, the current coalition agreement (2021–2025, paragraphs 3782 to 3733) intends to improve the enforceability of claims for reprisals against violators and implement the directive in a practicable and legally secure way. To this end, counseling and financial support services are already being examined.
Irrespective of this, the directive will have direct legal effect from December 17, 2021.
Whistleblower channels as important components
Notwithstanding the obligation arising from the EU directive or a national implementing law (currently the Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz), whistleblower channels are important components of compliance management systems. They help legal entities in the private and public sectors to ensure that legal requirements are complied with and that measures are taken to prevent legal violations.
The internal reporting channel brings about a change in culture, with the aim of initiating a continuous improvement process and thus making the department or company fit for the future.
Early detection of legal violations can lead to a reduction in liability risks and thus avert damage.
Our solution? Whistleblower and Ethics Reporting Channel – Managed whistleblower hotline
At PwC, we offer you the establishment and operation of an internal reporting channel as a managed service.
With our standardized and digitized solution – the Whistleblower and Ethics Reporting Channel – we can provide you with professional and cost-effective advice at every stage of the process.
This includes in particular
- the establishment of an internal reporting channel
- the coordination of legal issues, where necessary on a European or global scale
- the operation of the whistleblower channel in accordance with the EU Directive
- the documentation of all reports received
- the initiation of follow-up measures
- the reporting to the whistleblower
We thus enable you to outsource the entire internal reporting channel to PwC. Not only your company, but also your employees benefit from the reassurance that reports are handled professionally and confidentially. We create a trusting and secure environment and provide whistleblowers with the greatest possible protection.
Get to know our whistleblower channel
Benefits of a whistleblower channel
Standardized, digitized and constantly updated solution with low implementation effort
Trustworthy cooperation with PwC's dedicated experts, who are also familiar with the legal aspects and requirements from other laws and their internal regulations (e.g. guidelines or codes)
Thanks to the global network, reports with a cross-border dimension can also be handled appropriately
One-stop-shop: All services from a single source
Ensuring compliance while taking into account requirements such as documentation, confidentiality and protection obligations
Relief of your resources: We take care of operating the technical infrastructure and managing the whistleblower channel for you
Digital whistleblower channel – professional support at every stage
Our approach in four steps:
We offer all necessary communication platforms (e.g. a whistleblower hotline) for the operation of an internal reporting channel. We ensure documentation through our digital solution. Since the IT infrastructure is with us, you do not need to create any new structures in your company.
Our highly specialized lawyers carry out a validity check for you. The specialists in the various departments ensure professional support for this process step.
Based on the validity check, we recommend an appropriate follow-up measure (e.g., conducting an internal investigation) and coordinate it with you. If required, we can support you in the implementation of the follow-up measure and, in particular, carry out and accompany internal investigations in a professional manner.
Our professional standards and ethical requirements oblige us to conduct the proceedings in such a way that any violations of the law are remedied as far as possible, thus bringing the proceedings to a successful conclusion. A successful procedure offers added value for you, as it significantly reduces the risk of an external - i.e. official - report and the risk of disclosure. In this way, material and reputational risks can be minimized.
Our services for setting up and operating the internal reporting channel are generally offered on a flat-rate basis. One-time costs may arise from the implementation of the internal reporting channel or optional services, such as for the provision of a qualified ombudsman and when commissioning any follow-up measures.
- internal reporting channel
- customer-branded landing page and individualized dashboard
- other services upon request
Implement the Whistleblower and Ethics Reporting Channel
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What does the EU Whistleblowing Directive cover?
On the one hand, the Whistleblowing Directive includes regulations on the protection of whistleblowers and, on the other hand, regulates the general conditions under which information can be provided to internal or external reporting bodies. It also regulates the conditions under which these reports may be disclosed. In particular, the directive requires companies and departments to implement an internal reporting channel and to follow a specific process when receiving and processing reports.
Is there already a draft legislation on the Whistleblowing Directive in Germany?
In Germany, an initial draft of the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG-E) has become public, which is to regulate the implementation of the directive. In particular, the HinSchG-E provided that whistleblowers should also be granted protection if they provide information on criminal or administrative offenses. In this respect, the material scope went beyond that of the directive. Due to the federal election, it remains open whether the law will be pursued further in this form.
When will the Whistleblowing Directive be implemented in Germany?
It is currently unclear when a corresponding implementation law will come into force. However, implementation must take place by December 17, 2021. If there is no transposition by then, the directive will apply directly.
What is a whistleblower channel?
A whistleblower channel is a platform through which whistleblowers can report cases of legal violations. The "internal reporting channel" referred to in the directive describes a whistleblower channel operated by the company in question, the aim of which is to offer whistleblowers a trusting environment in which they can report wrongdoing without being exposed to repression. On the other hand, a whistleblower channel offers companies the opportunity to correct misconduct and thus improve their compliance.
How can companies prepare for the Whistleblowing Directive?
Regardless of the question of an implementing law in Germany, companies should take a focused look at the issue of internal reporting channels and start planning or introducing appropriate systems now. This serves to protect the company from damage that could otherwise result from external reports to authorities or from the publication of internal misconduct. In addition, a whistleblowing channel is also an elementary building block for "good corporate governance".