Danish companies with more than 49 employees are obliged to set up an internal whistleblower scheme. Find out what the law means for your company below. Danish companies must ensure that employees can anonymously make use of a whistleblower scheme within the company.
On 24 June 2021, a 2019 EU directive aimed at ensuring whistleblowers' rights was implemented in Danish law.
Below you will find answers to how things fit together.
How to handle alerts?
It must be possible for company employees to make use of an internal whistleblowing scheme, orally or in writing. External persons may also make use of the scheme, but this is not a legal requirement.
It is up to the employer to designate the whistleblower unit to administer the scheme impartially. This can be done internally within the company, but it is also possible to have the function performed by a third party, such as a lawyer or a reporting platform provider, as long as they meet the impartiality requirement.
The whistleblower shall not suffer any retaliation for making a report in good faith. Examples of reprisals include suspension, dismissal, demotion, reduction of salary, harassment or exclusion. The unit is responsible for maintaining contact with the whistleblower throughout the process. The report must be acknowledged within seven days of receipt, and three months after that the reporter must have received feedback from the unit. The reporter is also entitled to receive follow-up and justification of the outcome of his/her case. Feedback must comply with applicable law, as set out in the Administrative Procedure Act and the GDPR.
When does the law come into force?
For private companies with 50-249 employees, the law will enter into force on 17 December 2023, while it will apply from 17 December 2021 for companies with more than 249 employees.
What can be reported?
The new legislation covers breaches of EU law as well as other serious offences. This means that cases such as money laundering, sexual offences, harassment and discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or religious and political beliefs are covered by the whistleblowing regime.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
The whistleblower is entitled to compensation if he or she is subjected to retaliation as a result of a report. If the whistleblower has been dismissed as a result of the report, the person has the right to reinstatement if the party so wishes. If the whistleblower can prove that he or she has been subjected to retaliation in connection with a report made in good faith, the burden of proving that there has been no retaliation as a result of the applicable report is on the employer.