Worldwide, many companies provide their employees, suppliers, shareholders etc. with various reporting channels to enable them to submit reports confidentially and securely. Here, a distinction is made between internal and external reporting channels: The employee is either given the opportunity to report to a responsible person within the company or they can choose the external route and report to ombudsmen or authorities.
The internal channels that are available are letter, fax, email, a telephone hotline and web-based whistleblowing systems. The latter has the advantage that reports can be submitted securely and anonymously. The reporting channels often flow directly to a reporting office, which may be part of the Compliance department or the Human Resources department, or flow directly to Management.
The success of a reporting channel depends, among other things, on how actively it is communicated and how easily it can be accessed. It is important to ensure that reports can be submitted from anywhere and at any time, so that international employees have the opportunity to submit reports as well.
However, according to the new EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, whistleblowers should be able to make the report or information public as a last resort if all other reporting channels fail to produce results. Examples of this are Internet platforms or social media, or communication to the media, public officials, civil society organisations, etc. This could be considered if the whistleblower has not received appropriate feedback from the reporting office within the expected period of three or six months.