|EQS-Media / 02.06.2023 / 10:35 CET/CEST
German Whistleblower Protection Act coming into force on July 02, 2023
With today’s promulgation in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt), it is now official: Germany is getting a whistleblower protection law and is thereby implementing the EU Whistleblower Directive (EU Directive 2019/1937) as of July 2nd. The law affects a total of 70,000 German companies, which must establish a confidential reporting channel. EQS Group AG, the market leader for digital whistleblower systems in Europe, welcomes the fact that the government and the opposition have agreed on a compromise to provide whistleblowers with the most comprehensive protection possible.
With a delay of almost one and a half years, Austria, Italy and Spain have also recently passed national whistleblower protection laws. This means that more than 250,000 companies throughout the EU will soon be obliged to take measures and ensure that people reporting wrongdoings or violations of the law are protected from serious repercussions such as termination.
Digital solutions meet extensive compliance requirements
“We have waited a long time for this and are now all the more pleased that the German Whistleblower Protection Act, which also recommends the processing of anonymous reports, is finally here. Whistleblowers will now finally experience legal protection when they draw attention to offenses such as fraud, corruption or harassment in the workplace. Companies benefit because they can identify and remedy weaknesses and misconduct early on, before they become public knowledge. The increased requirements can be met with our market-leading software in a GDPR-compliant, highly secure and reliable manner,” says Achim Weick, founder and CEO of EQS Group AG.
With the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG), regulation in the compliance area is advancing: “Digital systems are becoming market standard in order to efficiently and effectively master the associated challenges. We support our customers in this with our EQS Compliance COCKPIT. The integrated platform solution not only covers the requirements of the Whistleblower Protection Act, but also offers a dedicated LkSG solution that can be used to digitally manage the new due diligence and transparency obligations as well as the risks and preventive measures,” explains Marcus Sultzer, Member of the Management Board of EQS Group AG.
German companies, authorities and municipalities must set up whistleblowing channels
With the Whistleblower Protection Act coming into force, there is now an urgent need for the 17,000 companies in Germany with 250 or more employees, as well as public institutions and municipalities with 10,000 or more inhabitants, to set up a reporting channel. Digital whistleblowing systems such as the EQS Integrity Line and the BKMS® system have established themselves as best practice in this field, offering a user-friendly way to comprehensively meet all the requirements for secure and GDPR-compliant communication. These tools can be set up in several languages, as recommended by the legislator, especially for international groups. The prescribed processes, such as the mandatory acknowledgement of receipt of a report within seven days and the feedback on potentially induced measures to the whistleblowers within three months, are also automated. As a next step companies in Germany with 50 or more employees have until the end of the year to likewise comply with the law’s requirements.
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Issuer: EQS Group AG
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