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In Finland, the final transition period for the Whistleblower Protection Act is coming to an end this Sunday, December 17. The law, based on an EU directive, mandates that all businesses and organizations employing more than 50 people provide a reporting channel through which employees can disclose observed misconduct.

The Whistleblower Protection Act, which came into effect earlier this year, initially allowed organizations with fewer than 250 employees until mid-December to establish their reporting channels.

Larger companies have been required to have these channels operational since the end of March.

According to a survey conducted by the Central Chamber of Commerce in March and April, about one-fifth of the companies subject to the law were still without a reporting channel at that time. "Our survey indicated that many Finnish companies still lacked a reporting channel this spring, but the situation has improved significantly compared to two years ago. I'm quite certain that now only a few companies are without a reporting channel. And there are still a couple of days left to rectify this," says Wikberg from the Central Chamber of Commerce.

The law requires the establishment of an internal reporting channel for at least the organization’s own employees. However, the spring survey revealed that over half of the businesses had made their channels accessible to all stakeholders. "This shows that companies want to act responsibly and believe that transparency with partners and customers is important," adds Wikberg.

Wikberg emphasizes the responsibility aspect of having a reporting channel. "Transparency and openness are indicators of responsible operations. A reporting channel demonstrates that a company wants to act correctly, comply with regulations, and take care of its staff’s wellbeing," he remarks.

This impending deadline marks a significant step towards greater corporate responsibility and transparency in Finland. Companies are being encouraged to embrace these reporting channels not only as a legal requirement but as a commitment to ethical business practices and employee welfare.

HT

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