Your Nordic Whistleblowing guide

The legislation regarding Whistleblowing* and the obligation to perform investigations when there is a work incident may look simple at a first glance. But how should the system be set up, who may have access to a complaint, and how do you perform an investigation?

We have set up practical Nordic overview on how to fulfil the legal requirements and how to run an investigation that enables you to follow up with the appropriate legal action.

Rules are similar, but not the same

  • The Directive safeguards minimum protection across the EU to individuals who raise breaches of EU law with their employer
  • Requirement to provide safe channels for reporting
  • Protection against retaliation for filing a report

Setting up a whistleblowing system 

The implementation of a whistleblowing system 
 Sweden  Finland Denmark
  • No formal requirement regarding the form of the whistleblowing channel

  • Individuals should be given opportunity to file a report verbally, in writing or in a meeting

  • Individuals must be given information on how the system operates

  • Individuals managing the reports must be independent

  • Information collected during investigation should only be shared on a "need to know"-basis

  • Ensure that security measures are in place (e.g. limited sharing of physical copies and access control)
  • No formal requirement regarding the form of the whistleblowing channel

  • Unclear if organizations can choose to accept reports only in either written or verbal form (or both). If verbal reports are accepted, a meeting must be arranged if requested

  • Individuals must be given information on how the system operates

  • Individuals managing the reports must be independent

  • Information collected during investigation should only be shared on a "need to know"-basis

  • Ensure that security measures are in place (e.g. limited sharing of physical copies and access control)
  • No formal requirement regarding the form of the whistleblowing channel

  • Individuals should be given opportunity to file a report in writing or verbally. If verbally, a meeting should be arranged within reasonable time

  • Individuals must be given information on how the system operates

  • Individuals managing the reports must be independent

  • Information collected during investigation should only be shared on a "need to know"-basis

  • Ensure that security measures are in place (e.g. limited sharing of physical copies and access control)

A "what to do" guide

What to do before a report is filed 
Sweden

Finland

Denmark
  • Implement whistleblowing routines and guidelines that are in writing, easy to understand and clear

  • Ensure that you have a system in place and that everyone knows how and when to report

  • Ensure that the receiver of a report is not someone employees are/can be afraid of (for fear of retaliation)

  • If possible, make sure that employees are able to file a report anonymously
  • Implement whistleblowing routines and guidelines that are in writing, easy to understand and clear

  • Ensure that you have a system in place and that everyone knows how and when to report

  • Decide if also other persons than your employees can file report to your internal channel

  • Ensure that the receiver of a report is not someone parties allowed to file reports are/can be afraid of (for fear of retaliation)

  • Decide whether or not anonymous reports are allowed
  • Implement whistleblowing routines and guidelines that are in writing, easy to understand and clear (DWBA § 13)

  • Ensure that you have a system in place and that everyone knows how and when to report

  • Ensure that the receiver of a report is not someone employees are/can be afraid of (for fear of retaliation)

  • Decide whether or nor anonymous reporting should be allowed

 

What to do when a report is received 
 Sweden Finland  Denmark
  • Within 7 days of receipt: send a confirmation message to the individual filing the report

  • Interview the individual who has filed the report

  • If possible, interview witnesses as well

  • During meetings, try to collect as tangible (fact based) information as possible

  • Draft minutes of meeting and let interviewee review and confirm their statement

  • Be discrete and don't share information with other witnesses
  • Within 7 days of receipt: send a confirmation message to the individual filing the report

  • Interview the individual who has filed the report

  • If possible, interview witnesses as well

  • During meetings, try to collect as tangible (fact based) information as possible

  • Draft minutes of meeting and let interviewee review and confirm their statement

  • Be discrete and don't share information with other witnesses
  • Within 7 days of receipt: send a confirmation message to the individual filing the report

  • Interview the individual who has filed the report

  • If possible, interview witnesses as well

  • During meetings, try to collect as tangible (fact based) information as possible

  • Draft minutes of meeting and let interviewee review and confirm their statement

  • Be discrete and don't share information with other witnesses

 

What to do when a report is finalised
Sweden
Finland
Denmark
  • Take appropriate measures (legal advise may be needed) without delay

  • Inform the individual filing a report of the measures taken as a result of the investigation no later than three months after sending the confirmation message

  • Follow-up on measures to safeguard they have been sufficient
  • Take appropriate measures (legal advise may be needed) without delay

  • Inform the individual filing a report of the measures taken as a result of the investigation no later than 3 months after sending the confirmation message

  • Follow-up on measures to safeguard they have been sufficient
  • Take appropriate measures (legal advise may be needed) without delay

  • Inform the individual filing a report of the measures taken as a result of the investigation no later than 3 months after sending the confirmation message

  • Follow-up on measures to safeguard they have been sufficient

Interested to know more? Please reach out to our Nordic whistleblowing contacts:

*The Whistleblowing directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law

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