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What are whistleblower systems for?

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Protection of whistleblowers and reporting systems

In principle, whistleblower systems should ensure both Europe-wide minimum standards and the hitherto often neglected protection for whistleblowers in order to receive and clarify more reports of violations of Union law. On the one hand, affected companies, the state and municipalities are faced with major challenges in implementing suitable whistleblower systems. On the other hand, the establishment of reporting offices offers the opportunity, thanks to timely information about violations, to be able to limit damage in a timely manner and avoid public scandals, because whistleblowers are regularly faced with the decision to report internally or to (law enforcement) authorities.

What do I have to consider as an entrepreneur regarding the Whistleblower Protection Act?

What is the Whistleblower Protection Act?

More details

The Protection Act stipulates, among other things, who is considered a whistleblower and how they are protected, which companies have to set up and operate internal reporting channels, how internal and external reporting channels have to be designed and how tips are to be dealt with. In addition, special provisions apply in certain areas, for example due to the Banking Act. Whistleblowers Anyone who becomes aware of a violation of rights in the course of their professional activity and uncovers it through a tip belongs to the group of protected whistleblowers. In addition to employees, these are also e.g. interns, members of executive bodies (management …), employees of contractors and (sub)suppliers. Scope There is much to suggest, but the law is unclear in this regard, that the HSchG applies to employers with at least 50 employees if there is a possibility that they may be affected by information in the areas specified by the HSchG. The HSchG can also apply below this threshold if companies are active in certain sensitive areas (e.g. financial services and products). It does not apply to sole traders. The HSchG applies to notification of (suspected) violations of regulations in the areas of public procurement, financial services, product safety, road safety, environmental protection, food safety, animal welfare, public health, consumer protection, data protection and corruption. Whistleblowers deserve protection Whistleblowers are entitled to use the procedures and the protection for the reporting from the time the report is submitted if they can assume sufficient reasons at the time of the report based on the actual circumstances and the information available to them that the information they provided indications are true and fall within the scope of the HSchG. Confidentiality, duty of confidentiality and protection of identity The identity of whistleblowers must be protected by internal and external bodies. This also applies to all other information from which the identity of whistleblowers can be directly or indirectly derived. Disclosure is only permitted in very specific, narrowly defined cases.

What violations does the Whistleblower Protection Act cover?
(material scope)

Here is to be signed between Austria and Germany


The Whistleblower Directive and the UVHG target violations of Union law, in particular: public procurement; financial services, financial products and financial markets and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; product safety and compliance; road safety; Environmental Protection; radiation protection and nuclear safety; food and feed safety, animal health and welfare; public health; consumer protection; Protection of privacy and personal data and security of network and information systems; financial interests of the Union and internal market rules. Excluded are regulations for the protection of classified information or legal, notarial and medical confidentiality and criminal proceedings.


The Whistleblower Protection Act covers violations of criminal law, administrative law, labor law, commercial law and environmental law. The violations can be, for example, fraud, theft, corruption, discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, violations of occupational safety regulations or environmental laws. However, the HSchG does not apply to violations of private law or tax law.

Who is covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act?
(personal scope)

What are the obligations of companies and legal entities in the public sector?

Who is eligible to report?

Only active or former employees have access to the internal whistleblower system if they have obtained information about violations in connection with their professional activities. Access to the external whistleblower system is available to all persons who have obtained information about violations in connection with their professional activities. This includes active, former and future employees, self-employed persons, shareholders and administrative, management or supervisory bodies, as well as volunteers and interns.

Internal and external reporting systems

Internal reporting channels

External reporting channels

How can companies set up an internal whistleblower system?

Establishing an internal whistleblower system is mandatory for companies and legal entities in the public sector. An effective whistleblower system should have the following characteristics: Confidentiality and anonymity Whistleblowers often wish to remain anonymous to avoid disadvantages or reprisals from their employer. The internal whistleblower system should ensure that tips are treated confidentially and that no conclusions can be drawn about the whistleblower. The internal whistleblowing system should be accessible to all employees and staff and easy to use. It should be clearly communicated how the system can be used and what steps will be taken to investigate tips.


The internal whistleblowing system should be independent of management and operated by a dedicated unit. This ensures that tips can be investigated and acted upon independently. Employee training Employees should be informed about the internal whistleblower system and whistleblower protection. Training can help raise awareness of the issue and encourage employees to raise concerns or questions.

Rapid response

The internal whistleblower system should ensure a rapid response to incoming tips. Companies should have a plan for investigating and remediating misconduct or violations of law that is led by a dedicated office.

Protection of Whistleblowers

Companies should ensure that whistleblowers are protected from reprisals or disadvantages by the employer. The HSchG expressly prohibits any form of retaliation against whistleblowers. Companies should ensure that whistleblowers do not have to fear any consequences and that their identity and concerns are protected.

Worthiness of protection of whistleblowers


The Whistleblower Protection Act is an important step toward creating a more ethical and responsible workplace culture. By implementing the HSchG, companies and legal entities in the public sector can build trust in their organization and create a positive work environment. It is important that public sector companies and legal entities ensure that they have an internal whistleblower system in place to protect whistleblowers and allow them to raise concerns or questions. Companies should also ensure that they comply with the provisions of the HSchG and do not retaliate against whistleblowers.

With UNOY® – Make.Expertise.Digital, companies can easily set up a whistleblower system and thus uncover compliance violations more quickly.

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Comprehensive advice & training

In addition, Skribe Attorneys at Law provides comprehensive advice and training on all aspects of the Whistleblower Protection Act (HSchG), including the legal requirements for an internal whistleblower system, training employees, and conducting investigations and taking action in cases of misconduct or violations of law. Our experienced attorneys can help companies and legal entities in the public sector establish an effective whistleblower system that protects whistleblowers and allows them to raise concerns or questions.

When a whistleblower submits a report, we can assist companies and public sector legal entities in investigating and remedying misconduct or violations of law.

We provide comprehensive advice and assistance in conducting investigations, evaluating evidence, and determining actions to remedy misconduct or violations.

Possibilities with UNOY

With UNOY®, companies can be confident that they not only have an effective whistleblower system in place, but also have received comprehensive guidance and training to understand and comply with all aspects of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish an effective whistleblower system.

Additionally, by using UNOY®, companies can also improve internal communication and foster collaboration between employees. With the platform, knowledge and know-how can be better shared and structured within the company. This not only makes day-to-day work easier, but can also help to increase competitiveness in the long term.

In addition, the use of UNOY® is very user-friendly and requires no knowledge of programming. The platform is intuitive and easy to use, so companies can quickly and easily set up an effective whistleblowing system.

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