Whistleblowing trends

A new study suggests that more than a third of companies have no whistleblowing system in place. The Whistleblowing Report 2019, which was conducted by the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur in Switzerland and published by EQS Group sought the views of 1,392 companies across the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.

In the UK 39 per cent of companies received complaints in the last year about misconduct (defined as bribery, theft or fraud). Larger companies had more reporting (46 per cent) with 29 per cent unearthing financial losses of between £9,000 and £90,000 via whistleblowing channels. The report found that UK companies were most likely to implement whistleblowing policies to strengthen reputation as an ethical company, whereas in France the primary driver was the avoidance of financial loss.

The EU last month adopted the Whistleblowing Directive, designed to strengthen provisions across Europe, with a date of May 2021 for implementation. It requires companies and public sector organisations with over 50 employees to set up channels and procedures for whistleblowers to be able to safely report and includes a duty of confidentiality.

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