Germany implements the EU Whistleblowing Directive: Businesses must protect employees who report violations

The EU Whistleblowing Directive, which was already adopted at the end of 2021, has now been transposed into German law: In early June, the Act for Better Protection of Whistleblowers (“HinSchG”) was published, which will already come into effect on 2 July 2023

The law requires the establishment of an internal reporting channel and the appointment of an ombudsperson for companies and organisations in the public and private sectors employing more than 50 people. Financial service providers are covered regardless of their size. Companies with 250 or more employees are immediately required to set these measures, while companies with 50 to 249 employees have a transitional period until December 17, 2023.

The law serves to improve the protection of individuals who report legal violations within companies and organisations – known as whistleblowers. The internal reporting channel serves as the organisational point of contact for receiving reports on violations. 

This is reason enough for affected companies to review and adapt their existing organisation. 

A successful whistleblowing system provides employees, as well as business partners, customers and other stakeholders with a safe to raise awareness about potential misconduct. Companies then have the opportunity to respond to any violations, adjust their processes and, avoid reputational damage. In addition to complying with legal obligations, an effective whistleblower system can  become a competitive advantage. 

Feel free to reach out to us and learn more about “HinSchG”. Through our network, we provide the responsible role of an “external ombudsman”.