Scope and Obligations of the Undertaking

By implementing an internal reporting (whistleblowing) program and other investigative services, an organization clearly demonstrates its commitment to good corporate governance, comprehensive risk mitigation and the establishment of a company culture that promotes a high degree of ethics and belief in its stated corporate values.

The establishment and communication of a documented Whistleblower reporting framework not only secures compliance, but increases employee and stakeholder trust in an organisation, increasing honestly and communication, leading to a net long-term benefit for the Undertaking.

Documented processes and procedures should be fair and impartial, enabling the Undertaking to follow-up in a timely, consistent and balanced manner; protecting the Whistleblower while treating other staff fairly. Documented processes support staff in avoiding bias and experiencing clouded judgement, safeguard the response team from conflict of interests and management influence.

In our experience, effectively designed and operated whistleblower frameworks enable organisations to receive, assess, and as applicable, act upon reports to the benefit of the organisation. PwC supports clients with the design and operation of Whistleblower frameworks, and with independent third party investigations into whistleblower reports.

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Rights and obligations of an Undertaking

Navigate the interactive tabs below to explore and compare the Undertaking's rights and obligations towards the respective entities.
 


Scope – CH

Employers

Scope – EU

Private legal entities with 50 or more employees and public legal entities operating in defined areas.


Specific rights and obligations of the Employer - CH
  • Have an independent whistleblower reporting mechanism
  • Forbid termination of employment for whistleblowers
  • Have procedures in place for further handling of wrongdoings
  • Have an anonymous reporting procedure
  • Report to the employee concerning the handling of the complaint upon receipt
  • Take adequate action
Specific rights and obligations of the Undertaking - EU
  • Whistleblower Reporting Framework designed, set up and operated in a manner that ensures confidentiality of the identity of the reporting person
  • Designation of person /department competent for the following up of the reports
  • Diligent follow up to the report by the designated person or department
  • Clear and easily accessible information regarding the conditions and procedures for reporting externally

Specific obligations of the Employer to a Whistleblower - CH
  • Report to the employee concerning the handling of the complaint upon receipt (exception if report anonymous)
Specific obligations of the Undertaking to a Whistleblower - EU
  • Inform the Whistleblower of receipt of Report within seven days
  • Reasonable timeframe (not exceeding three months following the report) to provide feedback to the reporting person about the follow up performed in respect of the report
  • Protection of qualifying Whistleblowers from retaliation

Specific obligations of the Employer to a Component Authority - CH
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Specific obligations of the Undertaking to a Component Authority - EU
  • Have in place internal reporting procedures and share information on these procedures with the relevant competent authorities. Have procedures to report externally to the relevant competent authorities

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.

Whistleblower

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

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Undertaking

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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Public

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

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Contact us

Andreas Staubli

Andreas Staubli

CEO, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 44 72