Have you ever faced a workplace issue that seemed too big for you to address? Suppose you suspect that some company personnel may be violating certain laws. Would you know how to respond? Or would you think it's too complicated or even dangerous to do something about it? It’s not always easy for employees to speak up when something doesn’t seem right or when they suspect a colleague may be violating an EU law—but it’s the right thing to do. Coming off the latest developments under the EU Whistleblower Directive, LRN’s newest course EU Whistleblower Protections is designed to help staff members feel more confident in raising concerns, reinforce their company’s culture of trust, and help make the workplace a safer space.
What does “whistleblowing” mean?
You may think that “whistleblowing” might involve high-level conflicts or suspense, like in films where characters are in danger because of the information they know. But real life is not quite that dramatic. Whistleblowing is just another word for speaking up, raising concerns, or making a report. When you see something wrong and tell someone whom you trust about your concern, you’re a whistleblower. It’s that simple.
What is the EU Whistleblower Directive?
In order to guarantee an EU-wide standard for the protection of whistleblowers, the European Union adopted a regulation for whistleblower protection in December 2019. The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, which takes effect in December 2021, guarantees people who speak up and report wrongdoing won't face retaliation.
The directive was approved in 2019, but EU nations received two years to align their own rules with the national law. Each EU nation must have a set of minimum requirements to protect whistleblowers and safeguard against retaliation.
We’ve been following the developments of directive for the past year. Some of the law's main elements include:
- The creation of effective, efficient and confidential reporting channels in companies of more than 50 employees.
- A hierarchy of reporting channels to encourage whistleblowers to report issues internally, although they can do so externally without losing protections, or confidentiality.
- Protections for whistleblowers from retaliation measures, such as suspension, intimidation, and demotion. This applies to people who assist whistleblowers, such as colleagues and family.
The directive underscores the importance of whistleblowers as an important tool in the enforcement of EU law. Areas of reporting covered under the law include financial services, money laundering, product and transport safety, public health, environmental protection, and consumer and data protection.
Introducing “EU Whistleblower Protections”
It’s not easy for employees to speak up when something doesn’t seem right or when they suspect a colleague may be violating an EU law—but it is the right thing to do. This course illustrates the benefits of speaking up and covers the main protections employees have under the EU Whistleblower Directive. By making the choice to speak up, team members will help reinforce their company’s culture of trust and help make the workplace a safer space.
This 12-minute foundational course outlines the legal safeguards available to employees under EU whistleblowing laws, which protect their confidentiality and help prevent retaliation. In addition to covering the main protections under the EU Whistleblower Directive, the course encourages employees to use their voice to make a difference in their organization. Course material reinforces the benefits that speaking up can bring to your organization's culture and sense of trust in the workplace. There is also room to fully customize the course to address any national regulations or company-specific policies on whistleblowing.
Custom assets to further support the learner journey include:
- Field guides
- Interactive infographics
- Campaign emails
Course objectives and learning outcomes
This course is designed to help employees:
- Feel confident that if they have a concern about wrongdoing, they are encouraged to bring it up so long as the concern is raised in good faith.
- Learn about the internal process of dealing with whistleblower concerns, during which the company will investigate and respond to their claim.
- Understand that they will not be retaliated against for speaking out.
- Trust that any claim will be kept confidential, including details about identity.
The key takeaway
Helping your staff members feel more confident in raising concerns also reinforces the importance of trust at work. You can access the full EU Whistleblower Protections course for more information on the upcoming EU directive and how to encourage folks to speak up at your organization.