Another important reason to introduce a whistleblowing line

2018.10.01

New regulations allow for the disclosure, use or acquisition of a trade secret with a view to disclose irregularities, infringements and illegal acts in order to protect public interest. This is another argument in favor of the introduction of procedures regulating whistleblowing.

It should be assumed that the disclosure of a trade secret will only be legal when the whistleblower had no other legal way to disclose irregularities or violations of the law. In such a case, the exclusion of liability of whistleblowers also reflects the provisions that grant protection to such persons. Is there a way, however, to practically reduce the risk that we will learn about irregularities at our company not from our coworkers, but, for example, from the media? The answer is “yes”. What is necessary, however, is implementing internal procedures that regulate, inter alia, whistleblowing. The procedure should be easily accessible and simple, and it should allow for anonymous reporting.

It should also guarantee that the ensuing investigation will be objective. On the other hand, employees should be obligated, for example by work regulations or by their contracts of employment, to initially report all irregularities within this procedure. This should be regularly repeated, for example during training sessions. Solving a problem inside the company will make it possible to avoid unnecessary negative publicity about irregularities at your company, and it will limit the risk that trade secrets will be disclosed outside the company.