How to comply with global whistleblowing regulations

Global whistleblowing regulations are not just checkboxes for organisations — they're your first line of defence against misconduct and reputational harm. But for actionable change to happen, you must empower people to speak up and lower the barrier with proper procedures in place. In this blog, you can find the top tips we advise when it comes to complying with global whistleblowing regulations.

Lamia Mela
February 2, 2024
5 min read

Why should organisations comply with global whistleblowing regulations?

Organisations should comply with global whistleblowing regulations for several critical reasons, such as reducing risks of hefty fines, undetected misconduct, or reputation damage. Organisations should encourage a proactive approach to reporting, so they can detect and address misconduct early, preventing escalation and building trust with employees. This not only prevents potential losses but also contributes to a speak up culture, reducing employee turnover and promoting an environment of integrity and ethical behaviour.

Steps to comply with global whistleblowing regulations

Steps to comply with global whistleblowing regulations

Global whistleblowing regulations have been evolving over time and organisations must keep up with it. But this still doesn’t mean people will always come forward in the event of a misconduct. Recent studies find only 4 in 10 employees report it. That’s why it is of utmost importance that as an organisation, you set the tone right – and create a strong ethical environment. Here are some good steps to follow.

1. Define whistleblowing and its scope clearly

Whistleblowing typically involves reporting activities like theft or unethical behaviour such as discrimination. It's crucial to note that not all personal grievances are covered unless they serve the public interest. This distinction is vital for setting up appropriate internal procedures for handling cases, which can significantly vary across companies.

2. Adopt a proactive approach to managing cases

Whistleblowing is increasingly seen as a tool for corporate governance and regulatory compliance, and even integrity management. As such, it’s crucial for businesses to adopt a proactive approach to managing allegations or disclosures pointing to misconduct within the organisation. This involves creating clear, accessible channels for reporting and ensuring that every report is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

3. Navigate legal frameworks

The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive  has set a precedent for comprehensive protection and reporting systems. It requires organisations to establish accessible reporting channels, maintain confidentiality, and protect whistleblowers from retaliation, among other requirements. Meanwhile, most EU member states  have already complied with the directive. Understanding and integrating these specific legal requirements into your whistleblowing policies is essential based on your location.

4. Early detection of misconduct

With the regulatory landscape evolving and the expected tightening of regulations, you must stay ahead of the curve. Whistleblowers often provide the first indications of organisational misconduct or unethical behaviour. By encouraging a culture that supports reporting, organisations can detect and address issues early, preventing escalation and more severe consequences. This early detection is crucial for managing potential risks and maintaining integrity.

5. Tailor your whistleblowing system

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to whistleblowing management systems. They must be integrated into the cultural environment and governance of the enterprise, with a clear emphasis on non-retaliation against whistleblowers. As an organisation, you must have in place a whistleblowing system which has customisable case management features, allowing you to tailor the system to fit the unique needs of your organisation.

6. Enhance compliance and security with SpeakUp

SpeakUp leads in providing solutions that help navigate complex regulations while fostering a speak up culture. We understand the nuances of laws like the EU Directive and ensure your organisation is always compliant with the most reliable internal reporting channel. Our platform offers unparalleled privacy and security features, meeting the highest standards of information security (ISO27001, ISO27002, ISO27701) and privacy regulations. We are fully audited according to ISAE3000 Type II/SOC2, offering a level of assurance that goes beyond standard certifications.

Don’t let misconduct remain hidden, catch it early

Ensuring your organisation complies with existing laws and encouraging insiders to report misconduct can be challenging, particularly if employees feel unsafe speaking up. To effectively transform regulations from paper into action, establishing a transparent speak-up culture is crucial – which is a fundamental pillar of a resilient and ethically driven organisation.

At SpeakUp, we've been helping organisations in cultivating a speak up culture for over two decades. Our SpeakUp software solution provides 2000+ organisations with the tools necessary to create an environment in which speaking up about wrongdoings is encouraged, and voices from within the organisation is heard – so you can identify misconduct early and act.

Table of contents

Subscribe to newsletter
By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Subscribe to newsletter
By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get the whistleblowing tools you need for compliant case management

Get in touch with a SpeakUp consultant today and learn how we can help your organisation.

We’ve turned 20 years of experience with whistleblowing compliance into advanced software tools. Use these to make your whistleblowing workflows simple and efficient.

App, web and phone reporting
ML & manual translation
75+ languages supported