Ecovis Global > Whistleblower Position in Germany to Become Mandatory
Whistleblower Position in Germany to Become Mandatory
23. November 2021
The EU wants better protection for whistleblowers. As a result, EU Member States must implement the Whistleblower Directive by 17 December 2021. By then, companies with 250 or more employees must set up a “Whistleblower Position”.
Abuses and criminal offenses, such as corruption or tax evasion, occur time and again in companies. Up to now, employees have only been able to contact their superiors or go public. To ensure that whistleblowers are better protected when they report violations of EU law, the European Union has adopted the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive. This must be implemented in all member states by 17 December 2021.
Do you need a whistleblower position in your company? We can help you. Alexander Littich, lawyer, specialist lawyer for tax law and criminal law, Ecovis in Landshut, Germany
Depending on the size of the company, action is needed
When and exactly how companies must implement the directive depends on the number of employees:
250 or more employees: Companies must set up reporting channels for whistleblowers from 17 December 2021.
More than 50 employees: Companies must have such a system ready by 17 December 2023 at the latest. Companies should use the time until then to prepare themselves.
Less than 50 employees: Employees should be able to contact the external reporting office of the Federal Data Protection Commissioner. However, companies then no longer have any influence on the processing. We therefore recommend that small and medium-sized companies also set up an individual whistleblower protection system.
EU directives can also apply if Germany fails to implement the regulation on time. The Ecovis experts therefore advise that companies should take care of setting up suitable channels and procedures for dealing with information now.