On 17 December 2021 the deadline for the 27 EU member states to put in place national rules to implement the new Whistleblowing Directive expired. The Directive introduces greater protection for employees who report breaches of EU law, and places a duty on larger organisations to implement a system for reporting and following up on reports of breaches (this currently applies to those with over 250 employees, falling to 50 employees in 2023). Some countries have made the necessary changes, but many still have not. The map below gives the current implementation status of each member state.
Employers may need to conduct investigations on a whole range of issues, such as bullying, discrimination, anti-competitive practices or even commercial fraud and corruption. They may also be used to deal with a suspected violation of internal policies or ethical standards. The objectives of an investigation, the way it’s carried out and the outcome will depend on the facts of the case, but there are some guidelines that are worth considering, whatever the circumstances. Take a look at our Dos and Don’ts below.
A specific type of investigation is on our minds at the moment: whistleblowing investigations. This is because in one major region of the world – the EU – there are significant developments afoot. By 17 December 2021, all 27 EU member states need to implement domestic law that will impact employers in their countries.
If you operate in the EU and you haven’t put your own measures in place yet, take a look through our resources below – and if you need more help with the practicalities, you are welcome to contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.
across the globe
If you want to know more about the rules on investigations, whistleblowing, grievances or low performance management, we have information from 25+ countries in the newest chapter of our Global HR Law Guide here: