Research shows that whistleblowing is one of the most effective ways to detect fraud, irregularities, and other misconduct.
Does your organization employ more than 50 people? In this case, you will be affected by the proposed Bill on the Protection of Whistleblowers.
This obligation arises from the Whistleblower Protection Act (enters into force in December 2021), which transposes the relevant EU directive into Estonian law. It is popularly called the Whistleblower Directive. The infringements that whistleblowers can report are very different – breaches of procurement procedures, internal fraud, breaches of environmental requirements, and so on.
It is also worth remembering that there are other reasons for introducing a well-functioning infringement notification system than the EU Directive. If people can discreetly report misconduct, it will prevent misdemeanours and major economic and reputational damage.
Who and when have to create channels for the Whistleblowers?
- companies and public sector organizations with more than 250 employees: from 17 December 2021
- companies with 50–249 employees: from 17 December 2023
What exactly needs to be done?
It must be ensured that employees are able to report misconduct through internal or external channels.
Once the information has been received, it must be analysed discreetly and securely, and an internal investigation must probably be carried out. Measures must also be developed to ensure the confidentiality and, where appropriate, anonymity of whistleblowers.
All these procedures must be developed, staff informed and trained, and incoming messages handled in accordance with the rules of procedure.
How can we help you?
Grant Thornton Baltic can help in all aspects of building such a system: from implementation, improvement of internal procedures and staff training to the creation of an external communication channel, case management and investigations. So we can offer you the construction of the whole system as well as some of its stages.
Grant Thornton Baltic's specialists have in-depth knowledge in areas such as: prevention and treatment of conflicts of interest, money laundering, bribery and corruption, fraud, prevention and detection of accounting irregularities, as well as taxation, employment and the environment, forensic data analysis, etc.
We serve companies and public sector organizations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and all other European Union countries.
Grant Thornton Baltic offers a software for managing the full process of reporting internal misconduct.
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