Perspectives

Whistleblowing

What is the current status?

The purpose of whistleblowing is to uncover and ultimately eliminate serious wrongdoing that is in the public’s interest at a company or governmental authority.

However, apart from Art. 22a of the Swiss Federal Personnel Act and its respective cantonal personnel ordinances, there is no explicit or legal-based protection of whistleblowers in Switzerland. It is therefore important for companies and governmental authorities to take it upon themselves to implement their own organisational measures and create channels for whistleblower reports.

The EU Whistleblower Directive, which protects individuals who report breaches of EU law, came into effect on 16 December 2019. According to the directive, companies with 50 or more employees are obliged to implement efficient reporting channels for whistleblowers. These channels can either be operated internally or outsourced to an independent third party. In addition, whistleblowers must be protected against any form of retaliation, such as dismissal, demotion or denial of promotion, suspension, harassment, etc.

This directive affects Swiss companies as well. If a Swiss company has any subsidiaries or branches in the EU, the company will also be subject to the EU directive.

Therefore, we recommend all companies to implement an efficient and trustworthy reporting system. Not only will it reduce the risk of whistleblowers being publicly exposed and denounced, but it will also strengthen the employees’ trust in the company when they act as ethical role models.

Founded in Munich in 2000, EQS Group expanded its whistleblowing portfolio in 2018 with the Swiss Integrity Line. In 2021, Deloitte and EQS Group entered a partnership in Switzerland, through which EQS Group contributes their technical solution and experience handling secure reporting systems for companies and Deloitte closely supports the client during the implementation and subsequent operation of the system. With over 850 clients, the EQS Integrity Line is the most widely used whistleblowing solution in Europe, making them a reliable partner for Deloitte.

When incidents occur, Deloitte Forensic experts can investigate and provide advice to the client. The solution offered by Deloitte promises the highest data security as well a pragmatic case management system for the client. Furthermore, anonymity is always guaranteed for communication between the client and the whistleblower.

This provides our clients with a simple and optimal solution to adopt not only the latest European requirement but also the contemporary standard, and to position themselves on the market as a modern role model.

Are you interested in our solution or have any questions? We look forward to hearing from you and to provide you with any further information.

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