Providing legal support to our clients in relation to the implementation of an abuse reporting system and ethics procedures.
A new service offered by our firm is to support companies in ensuring compliance with ethical requirements imposed by legislation. This includes the drafting and review of codes of ethics, the development and review of an ethics hotline, the provision of expert assistance in ethics proceedings, and representation by whistleblower protection lawyers.
More and more companies are now aware of the need to introduce control points, “lines of defence” in their operations to detect and prevent unethical behaviour, such as harassment, fraud and abuse.
In addition to the classic whistleblowing forums (HR, line manager, etc.), a whistleblowing system provides additional protection for the whistleblower, which can encourage the disclosure of wrongdoing. The introduction of such a system can be a competitive advantage, as employees are increasingly aware of the need to choose an organisation where guarantees of ethical conduct are provided, even if only in this way.
The legal background for the above is “Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the “Whistleblowing Directive”) and Act CLXV of 2013 on Complaints and Public Interest Disclosures (hereinafter “Complaints Act”).
Under the Whistleblowing Directive
Companies with 250 employees and above will be required to establish an internal whistleblowing system following the transposition of the Directive into Hungarian law.
Companies with less than 250 employees but more than 50 employees must implement this system by 17th December.
However, under the Complaints Act, it is already possible to introduce and operate an ethics hotline, for which we provide expert support in addition to the above, by offering training courses, workshops and (e-learning) training materials on ethical corporate conduct as part of our service.