Please note that the following text is a translation of the German version to the best of our knowledge. In case of doubt, the German version always has legal precedence due to the domicile of LAN-Security GmbH.
What is the E.U. Whistleblower Directive and the German Whistleblower Protection Act?
The Whistleblower Directive (EU) 2019/1937 is a uniform European regulation designed to help prevent and uncover violations of applicable law or ethical standards. Through the whistleblower system, tips can be submitted easily - and anonymously if desired. The Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) transposes the European regulation into national German law and additionally introduces protection against retaliation and a reversal of the burden of proof for whistleblowers in the event of termination.
Which incidents can I report?
The law defines an incident as an act or omission during a professional, business, or official activity that is either unlawful or abusive. Included are reasonable suspicions or knowledge of possible violations that have already been committed or are very likely to occur, as well as the concealment thereof.
All information about violations,
against criminal regulations,
from the areas of protection of life, limb or health or the protection of the rights of employees or their representative bodies, which are subject to fines. (e.g. occupational safety, health protection, Minimum Wage Act, Employee Transfer Act).
against legal regulations of the federal government, the states and the European Union
on terrorist financing and combating money laundering,
on product safety and conformity,
on the transport safety of road, rail, sea and civil air traffic,
on the safe transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways
on environmental and radiation protection and nuclear safety,
to promote the use of energy from renewable sources
on food and feed safety, organic production, labeling of organic products, animal health and animal welfare,
on quality and safety standards for organs and substances of human origin, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and cross-border patient care,
on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products,
on the regulation of consumer rights and consumer protection,
protection of privacy, personal data and security of information technology
to regulate the rights of shareholders,
on the audit of financial statements of public interest entities
on the accounting and bookkeeping of companies.
to the detriment of the EU’s financial interests,
against corporate income tax regulations,
aimed at obtaining a tax advantage contrary to the objective or purpose of the applicable corporate income tax law.
Who is protected by the Directive / the law?
ddThis Directive shall apply to reporting persons who acquired information on breaches in a work-related context.
Reporting persons shall qualify for protection under this Directive if they had reasonable grounds to believe that the information on breaches reported was true at the time of reporting and that such information fell within the scope of this Directive.
What does the law protect me against?
The law protects against
suspension, lay-off, dismissal or equivalent measures,
demotion or withholding of promotion,
transfer of duties, change of location of place of work, reduction in wages, change in working hours,
withholding of training,
a negative performance assessment or employment reference,
imposition or administering of any disciplinary measure, reprimand, or other penalty, including a financial penalty,
coercion, intimidation, harassment, or ostracism,
discrimination, disadvantageous or unfair treatment,
failure to convert a temporary employment contract into a permanent one, where the worker had legitimate expectations that he or she would be offered permanent employment;
failure to renew, or early termination of, a temporary employment contract,
harm, including to the person’s reputation, particularly in social media, or financial loss, including loss of business and loss of income,
blacklisting based on a sector or industry-wide informal or formal agreement, which may entail that the person will not, in the future, find employment in the sector or industry,
early termination or cancellation of a contract for goods or services,
cancellation of a license or permit,
psychiatric or medical referrals.
What are reporting channels?
It’s up to each individual legal entity to define the kind of reporting channels to establish. More specifically, the reporting channels should enable persons to report in writing and submit reports:
by physical complaint box(es),
or through an online platform,
or to report orally.
Is it save to report?
We are legally obliged to respect the confidentiality of the identities of all persons involved. I.e., those of the reporting person, persons who are the subject of the report and other persons named in the report.
What are the procedures for reporting and follow up?
After receiving a report you’ll get an acknowledgment of receipt of the report within seven days of that receipt.
During the entire process, we will remain in contact with you and may request additional information.
We check whether the reported violation falls within the material scope of the legal regulation and take appropriate follow-up measures.
Follow-up measures could be:
Conduct internal investigations and contact affected individuals and work units,
Referring the whistleblowing person to other competent bodies,
Closing the case for lack of evidence or other reasons.
Handing over the case for further investigation to the work unit responsible for internal investigations or to a competent authority.
All reports will be documented in a permanently retrievable manner in compliance with the confidentiality requirement.