Implementing Whistleblower Protection in Austria
Implementing Whistleblower Protection in Austria

In February 2023, the Whistleblower Protection Act (HSchG) was enacted in Austria. Entrepreneurs and legal entities are required to implement the Whistleblower Protection Act in a staggered manner. Until December 17, 2023, entrepreneurs with 50 to 249 employees must implement the Austrian Whistleblower Protection Act.

The key obligations for the implementation under the Austrian Whistleblower Protection Act?

The central obligation according to the HSchG is the establishment of an internal reporting channel. Through this channel, individuals should be able to report various (potential) legal violations. To avoid disadvantaging the reporting person, the whistleblower, the law includes various obligations regarding data protection and confidentiality. Further information on whistleblower protection and data privacy can be found in our related blog article.

How and by when should I implement the Whistleblower Protection Act?

Entrepreneurs with 50 to 249 employees had to implement internal whistleblower systems by December 17, 2023, while entrepreneurs with at least 250 employees were required to fulfill the obligations by August 25, 2023. Time is of the essence as the establishment of the whistleblower system must be completed by the deadline. There are no additional transitional periods for implementation. After all deadlines have expired, it is now time for companies in Austria to proceed with the implementation.

Implementing the Whistleblower Protection Act with technical and legal support

Setting up an in-house whistleblower protection system can involve significant time and high costs. Without the necessary legal and technical expertise within the company, establishing an independent system may not be worthwhile as it would tie up too many resources. Especially for SMEs, outsourcing may be a sensible option. To provide you with a data protection-compliant and user-friendly whistleblower protection system, we collaborate with experienced software providers. This way, we can combine our legal knowledge in this field with the required technical expertise.

Do you have questions about outsourcing the whistleblower protection system?

Feel free to outsource the setup, coordination, and maintenance of your whistleblower protection system to us or seek advice in this area from a lawyer. As legal professionals, we specialize in this and other legal domains. Contact our law firm at office@geuer.at or by phone at +43-1-4380072. We look forward to your inquiry.

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