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SafeChannel

Whistleblowing Regulation: Safechannel

Defend the values and organizational culture of your firm. Protect your people. Anticipate the risks.

As it acknowledges whistleblowing enables the disclosure and investigation of wrongdoing in undertakings, the European Union adopted the EU Whistleblower Directive. The diploma establishes rules to ensure the effective protection of those who lawfully become aware of any wrongdoing at the workplace and wish to report it. The Directive has already been transposed into the Portuguese legal system, and the whistleblower protection regime shall come into effect as of 18 June 2022.

Undertakings are required to create secure internal channels for their employees to submit reports and to implement internal rules to ensure such reports are duly handled.

Safechannel

In order to help undertakings complying with the new rules and to ensure all reports submitted by their employees are effectively analysed and monitored, CCA has created SafeChannel.

Through a technological platform, developed by a leading technological partner in the European market, we intend to speed up and guarantee the total seriousness and confidentiality of the complaints and to ensure compliance with the law with regard to their treatment. In addition to the technological channel for complaints, this service offers a complete solution:

  • Initial Training;
  • Support and information material;
  • Whistleblowing and security policies;
  • Licensing and management of the Whistleblowing Channel;
  • Handling of complaints by an external entity - Examiners.

 

 

   

Which enterprises are required to establish reporting channels?

  • All enterprises having 50 or more workers
  • Enterprises operating in specific sectors of activity, irrespective of the number of workers
  • Branches of foreign enterprises that meet any of the above requirements

Who can be a whistleblower?

Any person who reports a breach based on information obtained in the context of their work-related activities, including: Workers; Service providers; Contractors; Subcontractors; Suppliers; Shareholders; Executive and non-executive board members; Volunteers; Trainees.

Can any person be designated to analyse and process reports?

No. The person or persons designated by the enterprise are subject to the duties of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, data protection, secrecy, absence of conflict of interest. The person or persons designated by the enterprise must therefore comply with these requirements.

Can a third party be designated to analyse and handle reports?

Yes. In fact, it is advisable to do so as this would ensure that the person concerned complies with his or her duties at all times.

Can the reporting channel be external to the enterprise?

Yes.

Must reports be anonymous?

No, but the reporting channel must provide for anonymous reporting. Should the whistleblower choose not to remain anonymous, his/her identity must be kept confidential.

What are the mandatory features of the reporting channels?

  • They must ensure the reports are stored, the identity of the reporting person remains confidential or anonymous, the identity of any third party mentioned in the report is kept confidential, and that non-authorised staff members are not allowed to access the report.
  • They must enable workers to submit reports in writing and/or orally.

Is there any established procedure for analysing and handling reports?

Yes, the law sets out the steps to be taken when handling reports, as well as the deadlines to be met.

Is there any obligation to keep records of the reports received?

Yes, enterprises are required to keep records of the reports received and to store them for at least 5 years.

Are there any consequences for enterprises failing to establish reporting channels?

Yes, the enterprises that are subject to such obligation and fail to establish reporting channels will be subject to the payment of a fine

Are there consequences when enterprises do not handle reports properly?

Yes, not only can the whistleblower make a public report, but the enterprise is also subject to the payment of a fine.

By when must enterprises establish the internal reporting channel?

All enterprises subject to this obligation must establish an internal reporting channel by 18 June 2022.

SafeChannel

Partner
Litigation & Arbitration

Marta Duarte

Partner
Responsible for the Criminal & Compliance Area

Henrique Salinas

Associate

Francisco Pimenta