Whistleblowing. The 17 December deadline draws closer

Last Updated on December 11, 2023

As per article 24, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree 24/2023, from 17 December 2023, companies that, over the past year, have employed an average of not fewer than 50 and not more than 249 employees, with open-ended or fixed-term employment contracts, must activate an internal reporting channel.

So what should companies do in view of the 17 December deadline?
  • Identify a suitable reporting channel with the relevant access modalities and decide whether or not to allow anonymous reports;
  • select and appoint the people (internal and external) in charge of managing the reporting channel;
  • draw up a procedure for managing the reporting channel;
  • draft a document for potential whistleblowers with details about the existence of the reporting channels and how they work;
  • assess impact on data protection;
  • activate the internal reporting channel after consulting the company Works Council or the external unions;
  • draw up or update the disciplinary code.
What to watch out for during company investigations triggered by whistleblowing.

Internal investigations initiated by whistleblowing are a very delicate matter that must be handled appropriately.

Here is a list of dos and don’ts.

  • Identify the most appropriate strategy and modes of operation for carrying out investigations.
  • Hire agencies that specialise in tailing and digital forensics.
  • Draw up the investigative mandate to any appointed agencies, complying with privacy principles and taking into account relevant case law.
  • Conduct interviews with the whistleblower, the reported person or employees informed of the facts in the presence of witnesses.
  • Draw up a written record of the statements made during the interviews and/or, with the consent of the interviewee, record the interview.
  • Carefully assess the disciplinary relevance of the elements that emerge from the investigation.
  • Make sure disciplinary procedures and any disciplinary sanctions that may follow are handled appropriately.
  • Do not handle investigations yourself-hire experts.
  • Do not allow unauthorised parties access to information relating to the investigations.
  • Avoid the risk that the employee interviewed during an investigation may later claim to have been put under pressure or mistreated.
  • Avoid indiscriminate checks on employees’ company e-mails, outside the limits of the law and the rules laid down in the work tools procedure.

Our firm is ready to support companies in adopting the measures required by Legislative Decree no. 24/2023 and in conducting company investigations in the best possible way.

For more information: comunicazione@toffolettodeluca.it