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Internal whistleblowing system implementation deadline ends on 12/17/2023


What obligations arise for companies?

The core of the new Whistleblower Protection Act (HSchG) is the obligation to set up an internal whistleblowing system for companies employing 50 or more employees. The implementation deadline for this ends on 12/17/2023.

Existing whistleblowing systems must be reviewed for compliance with the requirements of the HSchG by 12/17/2023 and, if necessary, adapted accordingly.

How must the internal reporting department be structured?

It must be possible to submit reports in writing or verbally. The internal departments must be provided with the necessary financial and human resources to fulfill their tasks. Digital whistleblowing systems in the form of platform solutions have become established in practice due to their ease of use.

The handling of internal repots must always be impartial and unbiased. To guarantee this, companies must take appropriate organizational precautions. Companies also have the option of commissioning external consultants (e.g., law firms) with the tasks of the internal reporting department.

How can we support you?

Our interdisciplinary team of experts (labor law, criminal law, data protection, compliance) with practical experience in various industries will support you in particular with the following tasks:

Support with the introduction of an internal whistleblowing system: We support you with the conception and implementation of a whistleblowing system that meets the requirements of the HSchG, but is also tailored to your individual needs. In addition, we support you in dealing with whistleblowers and incoming reports, make suggestions for internal communication measures, and conduct training for affected employees.

Legal review of existing whistleblowing systems: We examine whether the existing whistleblowing system in your company meets the requirements of the HSchG. As part of the process analysis, we identify weaknesses and provide suggestions for the further development and improvement of existing structures (“Health Check”).

Support in the processing of reports received: We support you in the legally compliant processing of reports received from all areas. If legal violations are identified, we advise you on the enforcement of or defense against any claims for compensation and on possible measures to mitigate damages (voluntary disclosure, active repentance, etc.).

Try our “whistleblowing system”!

What are the benefits of a whistleblowing system?

In addition to protection against possible administrative penalties (which may be imposed if internal reports are not handled properly), a functioning whistleblowing system also has other advantages for your company:

  • Builds trust: A functioning whistleblowing system gives employees or other people close to the company the certainty that their reports and concerns will be taken seriously, dealt with appropriately and that appropriate follow-up action will be taken.
  • Protection of reputation: Trust in the internal system reduces the likelihood that whistleblowers will turn to external bodies with their information and concerns and that information about alleged legal violations will be leaked to the public in an uncontrolled manner.
  • Identifying danger zones: A functioning whistleblowing system enables any legal violations in the company to be identified and remedied at an early stage (internal investigations, voluntary disclosures with immunity from prosecution, etc.).
  • Risk minimization: Knowledge of existing risks makes it possible to take appropriate countermeasures in good time and avoid future legal violations.

Get in touch with our experts!

We will be happy to support you.

Disclaimer

This article is for general information only and does not replace legal advice. Haslinger / Nagele Rechtsanwälte GmbH assumes no liability for the content and correctness of this article.

 

17. November 2023

 
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