WHAT IS THE WHISTLEBLOWING?
Whistleblowing is a tool to bring visibility to the kind of unethical behaviour for which employees, either private or public, make a protected disclosure to the relevant regulator regarding specific concerns that they have discovered through their work, such as a criminal offence (e.g fraud), a crime or any other illegal activity. Workers are often the first people to witness any type of wrongdoing within an organisation and the information that they may uncover could prevent any damage to the organisation’s reputation and/or performance.
Thanks to whistleblowing, employees end up having a key role in the prevention or contrast of any kind of illegality within the organisation.
WHO CAN REPORT AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY?
Anyone in the company who has and reports insider knowledge of illegal activities occurring in the organisation, like employees, managers, directors or collaborators.
WHAT TO REPORT
The reported wrongdoing must be done when there is the suspicion or the awareness of any misconduct or illegal activity carried out by other people within the involved organisation, such as employees or directors, that can threaten the company’s image or the public interest.
The whistleblower has to be aware that he’s acting in the public interest, not his personal one, since the reported wrongdoing concerns any possible threat for the organisation, the workers, the managers, a third party or even society. The disclosure must be based on any serious concern which can be an offence or a breach of the Legislative Decree 231/2001, here listed in aggregated form:
- Misappropriation of public funding, fraud against the State or a public body or to obtain public funding or IT fraud against the State or against a public body;
- IT-related felonies and unlawful processing of data;Abuse or misuse of the personal data contained in the organisation’s IT system and company’s electronic signature incorrect use;
- Damage of the organisation’s database and computing systems;
- Felonies committed by criminal organisations;
- Kidnapping and extorsion;
- Concussione, undue inducement to give or promise an advantage and bribery;
- Forgery of money, money values having legal tender or revenue stamps and instruments or identification signs;
- Felonies against industry and commerce;
- false reporting, misdemeanour of false statements in a prospectus, misdemeanour of false reports or notices drawn up by the auditing company, felony of hindering the exercise of control, sham formation of capital, unlawful restitution of contribution of capital, illegal distribution of profits and reserves, unlawful transactions in respect of shares or quotas or the parent company, operations injurious to creditors, unlawful distribution of corporate assets by liquidators, unlawful influence over the shareholders’ meeting, market manipulation, failure to disclose a conflict of interests, hindering public authorities from exercising their supervisory functions, corruption between private persons;
- Felonies committed for purposes of terrorism or felonies designed to subvert democracy;
- Mutilation of women’s genitals;
- Felonies against individual’s freedoms;
- Market abuse;
- Manslaughter or serious bodily harm committed with breach of laws governing the safeguarding of workplace health and safety;
- Handling stolen goods, laundering and use of money, assets or benefits whose origin is illegal;
- Felonies regarding breach of copyright;
- Inducements not to make statements or to make false statements to the courts;
- Environmental crimes;
- Racial discrimination and foreign irregular people labour exploitation.
- The whistleblower is liable for offences committed in its interest or advantage, or to deliberately harm the reported person or third party (the libellous and defamatory reporting is persecuted as a criminal liability by the article 2043 Civil Code);
- The reporter cannot make an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain;
- Potentially intrusive information such as rumours or gossips cannot be reported as whistleblowing, as they would unfairly harm the reported person;
- Whistleblowing cannot be used to resolve issues relating to dissatisfaction at the work place, problems of a personal nature or between colleagues, and misconduct on another topic.
HOW TO RAISE A CONCERN?
First of all, read the legal text and the information, after which, download the form at the bottom of this page (called Whistleblowing Module) and fill it out in its entirety by hand. At this point scan and send through your software or email client in PDF format as an attachment to the e-mail address indicated always at the bottom of the page (email@example.com).
Or You can:
- Feel free to report any wrongdoing in strict confidence;
- Sign the report, since all concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal your identity;
- Do the report anonymously, so that your identity will not be expressed in the report.
The whistleblower’s and the “whistleblowed’s” identity will be maintained confidential if preferred -unless required by law to disclose them- in order to protect them from any kind of bullying or harassment in the working place.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOUR REPORT HAS BEEN PROCESSED?
The organisation relevant regulator will provide a feedback to the worker who raised the disclosure.
The whistleblower can ask for a feedback on his disclosure process, for example to know how it has been handled and dealt with, or to give more information in case the reported wrongdoing has evolved, interrupted, or even worsened.
WHY SHOULD YOU REPORT ANY UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR?
To put an end to unethical practices and to prevent any kind of injustice or wrongdoing that can affect the company or the employees.
DO YOU RUN ANY RISK?
No risks! It is important to create an open, transparent and safe working environment where workers feel able to speak up and to raise an alarm in case they find any violation of rules without suffering any adverse or harmful action against them. With this aim, there is the anonymous whistleblowing option.
The whistleblower’s and the “whistleblowed’s” identity will not be revealed without their permission -unless required by the law- in order to protect them from personal grievances such as workplace harassment, discrimination, bullying, etc.
The whistleblower will be protected from retaliation or any kind of antagonistic action against him, such as demotion, mobbing, termination, unexplained transfer and any other kind of victimisation that can create any intolerable working conditions.