Webinar Insights: A Guide for Companies in Finland on How to Navigate Whistleblowing Obligations

The Whistleblower Act in Finland serves as a pivotal tool in promoting transparency and accountability, offering protection to whistleblowers and encouraging the reporting of misconduct. Recently, we had the privilege of hosting a webinar in collaboration with Magnusson Law, where we delved into the intricacies of this legislation. In this blog post, we highlight the key takeaways from our insightful discussion. 

Understanding the Whistleblower Act: 

The Whistleblower Act, enacted in 2019, has been a cornerstone in enhancing corporate governance and integrity in Finland. It provides protection to employees who report suspected misconduct within their organizations, ensuring that whistleblowers are shielded from retaliation. 

Key Obligations for Companies: 

  • Establishing Whistleblowing Procedures: Companies are obligated to establish clear and accessible procedures for reporting suspected misconduct. These procedures must outline the channels through which whistleblowers can report concerns, ensuring confidentiality and protection from retaliation. 
  • Providing Training and Awareness: Companies must ensure that their employees are aware of their rights and obligations under the Whistleblower Act. Providing comprehensive training on whistleblowing procedures and the importance of reporting misconduct fosters a culture of transparency and accountability within the organization. 
  • Investigating Reported Concerns: Upon receiving a whistleblowing report, companies are required to conduct prompt and impartial investigations into the alleged misconduct. This entails gathering relevant evidence, interviewing involved parties, and taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective actions as necessary. 
  • Ensuring Non-Retaliation: Companies are prohibited from retaliating against whistleblowers who report suspected misconduct in good faith. Any form of retaliation, including termination, demotion, or harassment, is strictly prohibited and can result in legal consequences for the company. 
  • Maintaining Confidentiality: Companies must maintain confidentiality throughout the whistleblowing process to protect the identity of the whistleblower and the integrity of the investigation. Disclosing the identity of the whistleblower without their consent is a violation of the Whistleblower Act. 
  • Adapting to Regulatory Changes: As the regulatory landscape evolves, companies must stay abreast of any amendments or updates to the Whistleblower Act. It is essential to regularly review and update whistleblowing procedures and policies to ensure compliance with the latest legal requirements. 

In 2024, companies in Finland must prioritize compliance with the Whistleblower Act to uphold ethical standards and mitigate risks associated with misconduct. By establishing robust whistleblowing procedures, providing adequate training, and fostering a culture of transparency, companies can fulfil their obligations under the Whistleblower Act while promoting integrity and accountability within their organizations. Embracing these obligations not only enhances corporate governance but also strengthens trust and credibility in the eyes of stakeholders. 

Remember, compliance with the Whistleblower Act is not just a legal obligation but a fundamental aspect of responsible corporate citizenship.