Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence EU Directive The European Commission accepted the proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence on February 23rd, 2022. In the draft the EU Parliament mentions how voluntary due diligence efforts have not achieved significant progress. With reference to some isolated initiatives, such as the French Loi de Vigilance (2017) or the latest German Lieferkettengesetz (2021), EU institutions are now aiming for a more exhaustive framework.
Current status of the EU Whistleblowing Directive While the original deadline for the transposition of the EU Whistleblowing Directive was in December 2021, only one Member State managed to get there on time. Malta has had a whistleblowing law since 2013, which was quickly amended in 2021 to meet the provisions of the EU Directive.
We recently spoke to Wim Vandekerckhove about his thoughts on the challenges that most organisations face when trying to build a better culture, and whistleblowing in general. He shared his insights on common misperceptions about what whistleblowing entails, and how to create a healthy speak up culture within an organisation. Wim Vandekerckhove is Professor of Business Ethics at EDHEC Business School in France. He holds a PhD from Ghent University. Before joining EDHEC, he held a lecturer post at Ghent University (Belgium), visiting scholarships at the University of Oslo (Norway), Griffith University (Australia), the International Anti-Corruption Academy (Austria), and was Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Greenwich (UK). Wim has provided expertise on whistleblowing to various organisations, including Council of Europe, UNODC, the International Olympic Committee, Transparency International, the UK Department of Health, and the British Standards Institute (BSI). He was the convenor for ISO37002, the international standard for whistleblowing management systems.
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In 1863, the trailblazing False Claims Act was passed, which empowered citizens to challenge government-harming firms by blowing the whistle when misconduct was found. This led to a robust framework, encompassing state and federal laws, that safeguarded whistleblowers nationwide. Fast forward to 2002 when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) broadened the shield of the False Claims act, ensuring anonymous reporting of suspicions and endorsing internal channels.
Bring your cake and eat it, too. Today was one of those days where life effortlessly teaches a lesson at the office. A dear colleague was celebrating their birthday and brought two cakes for everyone to enjoy. This simple act triggered the following discussion: one side thought it was weird for the person to bring their own cake while the other thought it would have been weird, or even impolite, for them not to bring a cake on their birthday. You see, it is a common tradition in the Netherlands for a person celebrating their birthday to bring cake for everyone. This, however, felt odd to the international elements of the office. They are more accustomed to surprising loved ones with a birthday cake as a sign of thoughtfulness.
The challenge Supply chain whistleblowing will soon become a concern for Europe. Thus far having a whistleblowing tool for third-parties was not an explicit requirement for European organisations. The Corporate Governance Due Diligence Directive is about to change that by making complaint mechanisms for the entire supply chains of most EU organisations mandatory. While encouraging, this raises the following challenge:
Even though ISO37002 was first published in 2021, it wasn’t until a couple of years later that it started to attract interest. And just like other standards, it seems to be creating some confusion. We received a lot of questions from all sorts of organisations. How can we comply with ISO37002? Is SpeakUp® ISO37002 compliant? Can we get an ISO37002 certification? How does ISO37002 relate to the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive? Here is a summary of what you need to know.
We strongly encourage any law that highlights the need for protecting so-called whistleblowers, whose bravery promotes transparency and helps battle wrongdoing. We welcome the EU Whistleblowing Directive and all national derivatives of it.