The new directive that will force SME to implement reporting channels.

On the 26/11/2019, the new European directive on the protection for individuals was published, which will make it necessary to reinforce internal control systems to prevent irregularities. The plaintiff’s effective defence, marks the spirit of the regulation which will reinforce compliance in the company.

The definitive transposition in Spain of the European Union Directive 2019/1937 on the plaintiff’s protection will take place automatically on the 17th of December 2021, if it is not done before that date by means of a domestic law.

In this regard, it is worth highlighting the concept of reporting channel, defined as the channel through which a company receives and manages communications or information from its employees and organisation professionals, on possible irregular conducts of which they have become aware, contrary to the rules, both external and internal to the company, set out in its protocols and conduct codes.

The above-mentioned Directive develops the system by which private and public sector companies must promote effective tools and control systems for internal reports.


What are the most important aspects to take into account with the entry into force of this Directive?

They are briefly summarised below:

  • It affects all organisations with 50 or more employees, and, in the case of the public sector, the obligation will be extended to all companies.
  • A communication method must be established for  the reception within the established deadlines.
  • The reporting channel must guarantee the plaintiff’s confidentiality.
  • An impartial person or service must be designated to deal with the complaints. In large companies this can be the Compliance Officer, in smaller companies it can be outsourced.
  • All complaints that are valid under national law must be dealt with.
  • The maximum response time is 3 months.

For the company, the reporting channel is an essential part of the compliance strategy, mitigating criminal liability if the implementation of the channel is aligned with a specific action plan.

It is also an opportunity for transparency and good corporate governance.


 Judith Torregrosa Martínez

Lawyer in the Legal Department at Devesa&Calvo Abogados.

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