Making a disclosure in accordance with the german whistleblower protection act
Please only provide us with information that is correct to the best of your knowledge.
It is possible to submit reports online using the form below,
or contact us by dialling: +49 89 2324169-23
The German Whistleblower Protection Act entered into effect on 02.07.2023. The law transposes the EU Whistleblower Directive into national law and means that many companies will have to take immediate action.
The legal wording states that a whistleblower is any person – including employees, managing directors and temporary workers – who has obtained information about non-compliance with legal requirements in a professional context and wishes to report the situation. The respective company is obliged to provide an anonymised reporting procedure to protect the whistleblower.
Protecting whistleblowers also includes comprehensively excluding detriment towards any individual who raises a disclosure. Whistleblowers may not be prosecuted under labour law if they submit a report through the proper channels. However, this level of protection applies only if the information reported can be regarded as truthful at the time it is provided. Persons who report false or misleading information either intentionally or through gross negligence are not protected by law.
The Whistleblower Protection Act requires companies to set up an internal reporting office (§ 12 et. seq. Whistleblower Protection Act) for whistleblowers. The internal reporting office must accept reports in verbal or written form and enable whistleblowers to meet in person. The reporting channels must be confidential and access-restricted. Incoming reports must be documented and stored. Companies can also outsource the reporting office to an external third party, such as a lawyer of trust or ombudsperson.
Employees and business partners – also including other external third parties who wish to report non-compliance with legal requirements or compliance guidelines – are provided with an opportunity to make disclosures to an ombudsperson/lawyer of trust in confidence and – if expressly requested – anonymously. Whistleblowers are not charged for using this facility.
We treat the information provided as strictly confidential. As ombudspersons/lawyers of trust, we always act as independent lawyers and are not bound by any instructions issued by our commissioning company.
Provided you do not enter any data that could be used to identify you, this procedure guarantees sufficient protection of your anonymity.
Please complete the following form if you would like to make a disclosure.
Please also remember that making a disclosure can have negative consequences for employees, business partners and other stakeholders. You should therefore exercise the utmost diligence when making a disclosure.
Initially, we will ask whether you wish to make a disclosure or seek our advice as a lawyer of trust.
You can then decide whether you wish to make a disclosure in your own name or remain anonymous.
We then follow this up by enquiring about confidentiality.
You are then required to state the name of the company for which we are acting as a lawyer of trust/internal reporting office.
Next, we will ask for your personal information, or a pseudonym, and your e-mail address.
Following this, we will ask about the content of your report. Please word your disclosure such that we or our client company are able to follow up on it.
You can also send a file, e.g. a photo, as an attachment. Please remember that the information you provide may allow us to identify you personally.
Provided you do not enter any data that could be used to identify you, this website guarantees – from a technical perspective – that your anonymity is protected. We give you our assurance that we are only interested in the information you disclose.
In addition to the option of submitting an internal report to us, the Whistleblower Protection Act also provides for an alternative external reporting channel.
Making an internal report via our reporting channels is often the better option in cases where effective action can be expected to combat wrongdoing and you do not face the prospect of detrimental treatment at work (e.g. dismissal). This is because, as an internal reporting office, we will report the disclosed wrongdoing immediately and without protracted proceedings to the respective persons who are able to investigate and remedy the wrongdoing most quickly.
And: In the event an internally reported violation has not been remedied, you are still free to subsequently contact an external reporting office.
German Federal Government’s external reporting office
The German Federal Government’s external reporting office is part of the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ). The reporting channels through which whistleblowers can contact the external Federal Reporting Office are published on the Federal Office of Justice website under the following link:
Reports can be made to this office electronically, in writing, by telephone or in person. Furthermore, information about special reporting systems can also be found at the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the Federal Cartel Office, together with information on the cases in which these special reporting offices are responsible.
German federal state’s external reporting offices
To date, we are not aware of any external reporting offices in Germany’s federal states. As soon as this changes, we will publish the relevant information here.
Reporting offices at EU level
To date, we are not aware of any relevant reporting procedures of institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union. As soon as this changes, we will publish the relevant information here.