A report by technology provider EQS Group and the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur in Switzerland has found more than a third of British companies have no system in place for employees to raise concerns about the behaviour of colleagues.
The Whistleblowing Report 2019 showed 39 per cent of British companies received complaints about misconduct last year on matters such as bribery, theft or fraud. The report also found the UK has a more firmly entrenched whistleblowing culture than many other countries.
Misconduct was more frequently reported in large companies with more than 249 employees. Twenty nine per cent of these unearthed potential financial loss of between £9,000 and £90,000 via whistleblowing channels while 16 per cent identified over £90,000.
The UK’s 65% of companies with systems in place compared favourably with Germany’s 55.5% and France’s 53%. Switzerland almost matched the UK, with 64.9%. In terms of specialist reporting channels, such as web-based whistleblowing systems and hotlines, the UK was even further ahead with 68.1% of those with whistleblowing systems in place operating them as opposed to 47.7% in Germany.
Viviane Joynes, UK managing director at EQS Group, said: “Whistleblowing channels are an important risk mitigation tool for organisations of all sizes. As mandated in the EU directive we believe that companies should offer effective, confidential and secure reporting channels to their stakeholders to protect their own and the public’s interest.”
In April, the EU adopted the Whistleblowing Directive which will strengthen whistleblowing provisions across Europe and must be implemented into member state laws by May 2021.
Protect Senior Advisor, Ida Nowers, said, “Policy and whistleblowing systems are pointless without awareness, trust and confidence. The real failing we tend to see is a lack of training and expertise among senior managers and personnel.”