5 things you should know about whistleblowers – internal reporting
Published on 25th Sep 2023
Whistleblowers, the main obligation imposed on employers in connection with the implementation of whistleblowing regulations is the procedure for internal reporting.
A large group of employers will have to develop internal regulations that specify how notifications must be made and what happens next with those notifications.
If you have questions or need legal support in preparing an internal reporting procedure, please feel free to contact Osborne Clarke experts: Anna Golenia Wójcik and Agnieszka Król.
- What is the internal notification procedure?
The internal reporting procedure is a piece of internal legislation. It defines how violations of the law are reported and followed up within an organization.
- What elements must the procedure contain?
Obligatory elements of the internal notification procedure include:
- identification of the organizational unit (person) / external entity authorized to receive reports;
- indication of the method of transmission of internal notifications - the so-called whistleblowing channels;
- indication of the obligation to confirm to the notifier the acceptance of the notification within 7 days of receipt;
- indication of the entity / unit that handles the notification and takes follow-up action;
- indication of the obligation of due diligence follow-up by the organizational unit (person) / external entity authorized to receive reports;
- indication of the maximum time limit for providing feedback to the notifier (no more than 3 months after confirmation of acceptance of the notification);
- providing information on making external notifications to public bodies.
The internal notification procedure may additionally include, among other things, the definition of an incentive system for the use of the internal notification procedure.
- Does the implementation of the procedure require employee approval?
No – implementation of the internal reporting procedure requires consultation with employees, not agreement with them on its content.
The internal notification procedure is established by the employer after consultation with the company trade union organization(s) or employee representatives (if there is no trade union organization at the employer).
Consultation should last from 7 to a maximum of 14 days from the date of the employer's presentation of the draft procedure for internal notifications.
- How can an internal notification be made?
Internal notification can be made orally or in writing.
Oral notification can be made by telephone or other voice communication systems.
- Who does not have to create an internal notification procedure?
Internal notification procedures do not have to be created by employers for whom less than 50 people perform or provide work.
This threshold does not apply to entities performing activities in the fields of financial services, products and markets, and anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, transportation security and environmental protection - they are required to create an internal notification procedure regardless of the number of employees they employ.