Cooperation with WhistleB

October 2022

Press release from 31.03.2021

vangard | Littler partners with WhistleB to offer a secure and trusted whistleblowing system to its clients in Europe.

Littler | Whistle Protect, developed by WhistleB, is a whistleblowing system used by companies across Europe that enables employees to report potential misconduct through a secure and user-friendly online tool. The tool provides employers with an easy way to uncover and address potential misconduct. At the same time, it ensures market-leading data security and privacy to protect whistleblower anonymity and sensitive data. With compliance with relevant national laws and EU regulations embedded in the tool, Littler | Whistle Protect also helps companies meet required legal requirements.

For the uniform establishment of whistleblower protection, the European Union issued the so-called Whistleblowing Directive (EU) 2019/1937 in the fall of 2019. It entered into force on December 16, 2019, and must be incorporated into national law by EU member states by December 17, 2021. Under the Whistleblowing Directive, companies with more than 50 employees, as well as public authorities and municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants, are required to establish internal reporting channels through which breaches of EU law can be reported. In addition, the directive also provides for the establishment of external reporting bodies by the federal government or the states. The Directive offers whistleblowers a right to choose which reporting office to contact.

The Whistleblowing Directive is to be transposed into German law by the Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG). In order to avoid contradictions in values and to create legal certainty for potential whistleblowers, the (speaker's) draft of the HinSchG covers not only violations of EU law, but also violations of German regulations corresponding to the EU law mentioned in the directive, such as German environmental law.

In addition, the draft bill covers the entire German criminal law and all administrative offenses. The result is an enormous number of reportable violations in Germany. This planned expansion is not mandatory. Rather, the German legislator is using the possibility given by the Directive to extend it to violations of national law.

"Whistleblowing cases have skyrocketed around the world in the last decade, and all indications are that this trend will increase in the future. Companies need a comprehensive resource to ensure they are both compliant with the law and protected from potential reputational damage. While there is no direct sanction for not operating an internal whistleblowing system, my clear recommendation is to establish an attractive whistleblowing system to discourage employees from going directly to authorities if possible," says Dr. Thomas Griebe, founding member and partner of vangard | Littler. "As a firm, we are committed to always developing and leveraging best-in-class technology solutions for our clients around the world, and I am pleased to add Littler | Whistle Protect to our already extensive offering. Our clients in Germany and across Europe will greatly benefit from the services integrated into this tool."

Through Littler | Whistle Protect, our clients will have access to the following:

  • Reporting Channel: Employees can report suspected misconduct through a web-based landing page and questionnaire. The whistleblower can remain anonymous and the employer can respond immediately.

  • Case management tool: The tool manages whistleblowing reports securely and efficiently, making it easier to receive, monitor and manage cases.

  • Statistics and report generation: The dashboard provides an overview of current and historical data, status, alerts, performance indicators, and in-depth analytics.

About Littler

With more than 1,700 employment lawyers in more than 100 offices around the world, Littler is the world's largest employment law firm. Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that encourages original thinking and delivers breakthrough innovations that prepare employers for what is happening today and what is likely to happen tomorrow.

About WhistleB, by NAVEX Global

WhistleB is a leading provider of whistleblowing management software used by hundreds of organizations in over 160 countries. In 2019, WhistleB became part of NAVEX Global - the world's leading provider of integrated risk and compliance management software and services. Thousands of customers around the world rely on NAVEX Global solutions to manage risk, meet complex regulatory requirements, develop corporate ESG programs, and foster an ethical workplace culture.

Like us, vangard | Littler is a clear market leader in its field. We are pleased to combine our expertise to deliver a comprehensive and secure solution for the EU Whistleblowing Directive to organizations across Germany. With the deadline for compliance fast approaching, we look forward to supporting them with Littler | Whistle Protect's service in the coming months.

Giles Newman, Managing Director International, at WhistleB's parent company, NAVEX Global

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