Whistleblower directives

Ramifications in the public domain

Some whistleblowers, whether dissatisfied with the response of an Undertaking or a Component Authority, unsure of the potential actions of an Undertaking or the ramifications following a report, including their confidence in remaining anonymous / not experiencing retaliatory action, choose to report directly to the Public Domain, often via a Media Organisation. Moreover, whistleblowers will not lose their protection if they decide to use external channels in the first instance.

When reports are first published in the public domain, an Undertaking losses control over information and the capacity to follow-up impartially is lost. When information control is lost, the integrity of representations received in any follow-up, who knew what, and when? is diminished. Often, named parties within the Public Domain are subject to discrimination before they have either had an opportunity to respond through the established process by an Undertaking, Component Authority, or, where applicable, law enforcement.

Undertakings are well advised to set up and manage a trustworthy internal reporting system and to build trust across employees, third parties and the public through appropriate actions and communication, consistent and adequate handling of reports and through acting as ethical role models. In doing so, Undertakings reduce the risk of a possible loss of control by Whistleblower reports to the public.

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Explore and compare the new EU Directive and most recent Swiss proposal

The interactive diagram below sets out how a Whistleblower, Undertaking and Component Authority interact with each other. We encourage you to explore the accessible content and get in touch with our experts Susanne Hofmann and Gianfranco Mautone to continue this conversation in more depth.


Whistleblowers acting in good faith regarding qualifying subjects are entitled to protection.

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The EU Directive requires that Undertakings with more than 50 employees and all Undertakings operating in regulated industries establish a Whistleblowing reporting framework. Undertakings have obligations to Whistleblowers and the Competent Authority. The Swiss proposal refers to “Employers” rather than Undertakings.

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Competent Authority

The EU Directive places additional obligations on Competent Authorities in respect of training, reporting and engagement with Undertakings. 

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Recent history has included high profile examples of Whistleblowers reporting directly to the public.

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Contact us

Gianfranco Mautone

Gianfranco Mautone

Partner and Forensic Services and Financial Crime Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 17 60

Susanne Hofmann

Susanne Hofmann

Data Protection Officer, PwC Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Tel: +41 58 792 17 12