In October 2019, when the European Union approved the Whistleblower Protection Directive, many EU jurisdictions re-examined their internal investigations systems. At the same time, an open discussion arose in business communities in the EU and around the world on the crucial importance of having effective internal investigations and Whistleblower systems in place. With much to say on these topics, CMS joined the discussion.
It is universally agreed that the absence of proper protection and accessible disclosure channels for businesses is dangerous to their interests. It is also understood that Whistleblowers do not damage companies, but rather strengthen and protect them from disastrous prosecutions and embarrassing news headlines. Internal investigations can be arduous and unpleasant, but they are a necessary part of a company’s maintenance. As there is no single internal-investigation strategy that applies to all companies and jurisdictions, the experts, authors and speakers who have compiled this manual offer a variety of solutions, sharing their hands-on experience and insights with material that reflects the diversity of the business world’s many markets and the unique traditions and legislative environment of each.
Every year the CMS Employment Group organises a global webinar series. This year, marking our tenth jubilee, the series explored the topic of internal investigations and Whistleblowing. Conducted between November 2019 and May 2020, the series – organised by Katarzyna Dulewicz, employment partner at CMS Poland and CEE Head of Employment at CMS CMNO, and her team covered 24 jurisdictions and educated thousands of people on the key points of conducting a successful internal investigation in a way that protects both employers and employees.
Articles and podcasts based on the webinars were published after the online presentations, which we would like to share with you in this volume. We thank those of you who attended the sessions and the many participants who provided valuable feedback.
And to all the readers of this manual, we wish you good luck in applying these principles and strategies in your workplaces.
For more information on how to implement internal-investigations solutions that are best suited to your company, market and jurisdiction, do not hesitate to contact us directly or visit the insights section Whistleblower Protection on our website.