World Whistleblowers’ Day is celebrated on 23 June, dedicated to people who step forward and report cases of corruption.
Isdefe joins this celebration in order to raise awareness of the role these people play in bringing cases of corruption to light. Whistleblowers are essential to an open and transparent society, and play a very important role in stopping misconduct and unlawful acts, avoiding reputational damage and economic losses.
In 2019 Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons reporting infringements of EU law (aka the Whistleblowing Directive, came into force. Spain plans to transpose the mandate later this year; in fact, the “Draft Law Regulating the Protection of Persons Reporting Regulatory Violations and for the Fight Against Corruption” has already been published.
Both the Whistleblowing Directive and the future Law on the protection of whistleblowers establish, for companies, the implementation of a mandatory communication channel, the possibility of processing anonymous complaints, and the protection of whistleblowers' identities, maintaining their anonymity and the prevention of retaliation against them.
To this end Isdefe has launched a new Ethical Mailbox, bringing together in one space the different channels existing to date, allowing for anonymity, and guaranteeing the confidentiality and security of any communications of alleged breaches or irregularities related to Isdefe's Code of Ethics, Criminal Risk Prevention Program, or the Rules of Action on Harassment and Discrimination. The Ethical Mailbox is accessible via the Isdefe website and is open to third parties.
The whistleblowing culture is quite recent in Spain, though the creation of internal complaint channels was greatly boosted by the revision of the Criminal Code through Organic Law 1/2015, which introduced an exemption-from-criminal- liability clause for those legal persons who had adopted an effective model for compliance and the prevention of criminal risks.