Compliance Solutions

German Whistleblower Protection Act

The innovations of the law and how we can support you!

Gesetz von Bundesrat-verabschiedet HinSchgG

Learn all about the German Whistleblower Protection Act, how it was passed by the German “Bundesrat” (upper house of the German parliament) on May 12 and what the innovations mean for the operation of whistleblower systems.

Innovations of the draft law

The new compromise

The new compromise

The German Whistleblower Protection Act (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz – HinSchG) was finally passed again by the Bundestag on May 11, 2023, after several delays and difficulties.

In February 2023, the “Bundesrat” (upper house of the German parliament) had refused to approve the law as it stood at the time. Nevertheless, in order to facilitate swift implementation, the German government initially split the bill into two drafts, only one of which would require approval in the Bundesrat. But some experts saw this as a danger of constitutional conflict.

However, a compromise was found that took the concerns of the Bundesrat into account as well. The Whistleblower Protection Act that has now been passed thus replaces the two previous draft laws.

Bundesrat Bild Beitrag HinSchG

Innovations in the law on the Geman Whistleblower Protection Act

Summary of the most important legislative innovations by the Mediation Committee

The Mediation Committee agreed that the law would waive an obligation to allow anonymous reporting. This applies to both internal and external hotlines. The only stipulation is that the agencies should also process incoming reports anonymously. It was also added that whistleblowers should give preference to reporting to an internal reporting office in cases where violations can be effectively addressed internally.

Information about violations now falls within the scope of the Act only if it relates to the employing entity or other entity with which the whistleblower had professional contact.

The draft law so far already provided for a reversal of the burden of proof if the person providing the information suffers a disadvantage in connection with his or her professional activity. That’s where it should stay. However, the presumption that the disadvantage is a reprisal for the tip-off should only exist if the person giving the tip-off also asserts this themselves.

The maximum fine for violations of the law has been reduced from 100,000 euros to 50,000 euros.


Hinweisgebergesetz verabschiedet mehr Infos zum System

We will gladly support you

On the safe side with our whistleblower system

Compliance Solutions’ whistleblower system provides a proven and secure platform to report undesirable behavior. Our system allows employees or external parties to submit reports quickly and effectively, which feed into comprehensive case management. Here, guided workflows ensure legally compliant, audit-proof processing.

For more information on our whistleblower system as well as our case management system, click here.

Anonymous reports

Not mandatory, but still useful

The EU Whistleblowing Directive requires companies to be able to accept anonymous tips as well. While the government draft does not make this option mandatory, it does provide a “shall” provision to encourage companies to also process reports received anonymously.

To ensure that your company complies with these obligations, you should have a whistleblower system in place that supports the admissibility of anonymous reports. This not only ensures that your organization is compliant with regulatory requirements, but also provides a way to identify operational irregularities early and take appropriate action.

What must be considered when implementing the Hinschg?

German Whistleblower Protection Act (HinSchG) in Practice

Companies with more than 50 employees must comply with the new German Whistleblower Protection Act. It is expected to take effect in mid-June 2023. While companies with 50-249 employees have a grace period until December 17, 2023, the rule for all others is to implement tailored solutions to implement the Whistleblower Protection Act now.

Under the new german Whistleblower Protection Act, it is essential for companies to set up internal hotlines. Larger corporate structures may also establish a central group-wide reporting office under the Act. It is also imperative that clear guidelines are established within the company that dictate how whistleblower tips should be handled. If there is already an internal reporting office and corresponding guidelines, it must be checked whether these comply with the new legal requirements of the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Companies that have a works council must follow legal requirements and implement a whistleblower system. This requires co-determination by the works council. To this end, the parties are required to conclude a works agreement. Since the process for implementing the whistleblower system and coordinating it with the works council usually takes some time, it is advisable to start the process early.


Individual counselling on the Whistleblowing System

Individual counselling on the Whistleblowing System

You are interested in a Whistleblowing & Case Management System from Compliance Solutions? Then write to us, our compliance experts will be happy to help you.

Are you interested in a Whistleblowing & Case Management System from Compliance Solutions? Then write to us, our compliance experts will be happy to help you.