Amendment: Whistleblower Directive obligatory for companies!

What is a whistleblower?

Whistleblowers are persons who uncover unethical behavior or grievances. They publish important information from a secret or protected context. This includes grievances or criminal offenses that the whistleblowers learn about within a company, but also outside of it. This refers to crimes such as corruption, insider trading, data misuse, general dangers, etc.

Protection of whistleblowers through internal reporting system

On October 23, 2019, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the so-called Whistleblower Directive (2019/1937). It serves to protect persons who report violations of European Union law. This includes, for example, consumer and data protection, public procurement, the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and much more. Therefore, whistleblowers must be able to make reports securely and confidentially. Accordingly, a reporting system must be set up on a mandatory basis. An anonymous mailbox, for example, can serve as an internal reporting channel.

What is an anonymous mailbox?

An anonymous mailbox allows confidential data to be communicated easily and securely via an anonymous data exchange. The identity of the whistleblower remains protected as far as possible.

To whom and from when does the Whistleblower Directive apply in Austria, Germany and the EU?

In principle, the Whistleblower Directive has applied since December 17, 2021, to all companies within the European Union with more than 249 employees as well as cities and municipalities with 10,000 inhabitants or more. But also companies that are owned or controlled by the latter. There is a two-year transition period for companies with between 50 and 249 employees. With the exception of Sweden and Denmark, all member states are behind schedule with the implementation. For Austria, the Ministry of Labor is currently drafting a corresponding law (source in German: In Germany, a first draft law failed in April 2021, because the grand coalition was unable to reach an agreement. The so-called traffic light government is already working on a resumption (source in German:

Anonymous mailbox as internal reporting system

Violations can be reported by both internals and externals via an internal channel. This can be done verbally (e.g. via a telephone hotline, a special representative) or in writing (via mail, mailbox, e-mail account, etc.). With the RUBICON solution Acta Nova we offer you a secure online platform. It collects and structures all reports centrally and thus serves as an anonymous mailbox. The confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower, but also of third parties who may be mentioned in the report, is protected throughout the entire process.

Duty to respond and compliance with deadlines

As soon as a violation is reported, this person must receive confirmation of receipt of the report within seven days. This is also easily done via the online platform provided by RUBICON. The whistleblower will also be assigned an impartial contact person within your company. In order to stay in contact, a separate department can also be set up. Within three months, they inform about the measures taken, the status of the investigation and, if applicable, its outcome. Also the platform automatically creates reminders so that all specified deadlines can be met.

Whistleblower policy as an advantage for companies

In principle, reports can also be made externally, e.g. directly to an authority. However, whistleblowers generally feel more comfortable reporting information internally. Empirical studies also show that the majority do so (source: EU Directive 2019/1937). Furthermore, experts believe that this builds the company's reputation both internally and externally. Accordingly, they have the chance to react to internal misconduct in a timely manner and thus avoid public scandals. But it also preempts exposure by the media. A "cultural change" leads away from the image of the traitor to more transparency, less corruption, more trust and clear processes in business (source in German:

Implement whistleblower reporting channel now

You want to provide an anonymous mailbox for whistleblowers within your company? Benefit from the advantages of a central whistleblower collection point with deadline reminder function. Contact us without obligation. You can reach us by phone +43 1 5332555-0, e-mail: or via the form below. We look forward to your inquiry!

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