Companies must set clear tone under EU whistleblower rules

CWE2023 Whistleblower panel

Source: Alexander Frimanson

The varied implementation of the European Union’s Whistleblower Directive across member states shows how divisive the topic remains, even despite progress made toward acceptance of the practice.

In some countries, like France, fine totals for noncompliance have been criticized for being too low. Other countries, like Poland, have proposed three years of imprisonment for executives for violations. Portugal requires whistleblowers raise concerns internally first, which violates the intentions of the EU directive, while the Netherlands mandates companies must have oral, written, and anonymous channels for whistleblowing.

With a moving target for compliance for businesses that operate across the bloc, the opportunity exists for those companies to set their own standards on whistleblowing and engender greater trust among employees, a panel discussed at Compliance Week’s Europe conference in London.

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