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Deadline to create whistleblower schemes for medium-sized companies approaching

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Legal news
calendar 10 November 2022
globus Denmark

Larger companies with more than 249 employees have already established a whistleblower scheme under the new rules. Companies with 50 to 249 employees have an extended deadline until 17 December 2023, which is now rapidly approaching. Therefore, medium-sized companies should now prepare to establish whistleblower schemes under the new rules.

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Kirsten

Astrup

Senior associate

The rules on the protection of whistleblowers implement the EU directive and introduce requirements to establish whistleblower schemes. The rules already apply to larger companies but will also apply to medium-sized companies as of 17 December 2023.

Denmark and Sweden have implemented the rules, while Norway already has extensive rules on whistleblowing. We have previously written about rules on whistleblowing in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway here, here, and here.

Whistleblower scheme by design

When establishing a whistleblower scheme, there are many different requirements and ways to comply with the rules. For that reason, many companies can benefit from considering where to streamline the process to establish a joint scheme across different legislations.

In Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the requirements differ on some points and are harmonized on others, allowing companies to establish a tailored scheme across the Nordics:

The rules on the protection of whistleblowers implement the EU directive and introduce requirements to establish whistleblower schemes. The rules already apply to larger companies but will also apply to medium-sized companies as of 17 December 2023.

Denmark and Sweden have implemented the rules, while Norway already has extensive rules on whistleblowing. We have previously written about rules on whistleblowing in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway here, here, and here.

Whistleblower scheme by design

When establishing a whistleblower scheme, there are many different requirements and ways to comply with the rules. For that reason, many companies can benefit from considering where to streamline the process to establish a joint scheme across different legislations.

In Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the requirements differ on some points and are harmonized on others, allowing companies to establish a tailored scheme across the Nordics:

  Denmark Sweden Norway
Access to an internal trans-national joint scheme
Access to an internal trans-national joint scheme Access to an external trans-national joint scheme
Access to oral reporting

Optional

Mandatory

Optional

Access a meeting in-person

Only if access
to oral reporting

Mandatory

Optional

Requirement to give information in local language

Recommended

Recommended

Access to report on certain additional matters

Yes, serious breaches of law and other serious matters

Yes, misconduct of public interest, serious breaches of law, and other serious matters

Yes, breaches of law and breaches of the company’s written ethical guidelines or public ethical norms

Access to outsource scheme internally

IUNO’s opinion

Companies can already begin preparing to have an internal whistleblower scheme ready to air on 17 December 2023. Early preparations are essential for multinational companies aiming to establish a joint whistleblower scheme in two or more countries, as the requirements vary in some form in each member state. The reason is that companies will have to create a detailed overview to establish a compliant scheme.

IUNO recommends that companies have clear action plans to implement the rules and consider how a whistleblower scheme is established best by the deadline. Considerations can, for example, relate to internal versus external solutions, scope, deadlines, responsible units, and information obligations.

Read more about how IUNO can help here.

IUNO’s opinion

Companies can already begin preparing to have an internal whistleblower scheme ready to air on 17 December 2023. Early preparations are essential for multinational companies aiming to establish a joint whistleblower scheme in two or more countries, as the requirements vary in some form in each member state. The reason is that companies will have to create a detailed overview to establish a compliant scheme.

IUNO recommends that companies have clear action plans to implement the rules and consider how a whistleblower scheme is established best by the deadline. Considerations can, for example, relate to internal versus external solutions, scope, deadlines, responsible units, and information obligations.

Read more about how IUNO can help here.

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The team

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Kirsten

Astrup

Senior associate