On December 17, 2021, Sweden received a new law on whistleblowing that obliges companies to establish internal whistleblowing channels. Through whistleblowing channels, employees will be able to report misconduct at their workplace, among other things. Setting up whistleblowing channels is not only a prerequisite for companies to comply with their legal obligations, but also constitutes an important tool for preventing damage in the trust toward the company and other financial risks in the company. Setterwalls knows the complexity of the whistleblowing regulations and can assist in all matters related to whistleblowing.

The Whistleblower Act in brief

The requirement to establish internal reporting channels is gradually implemented. From 17 July 2022, all companies with more than 249 employees shall have an internal reporting channel in place, and from 17 December 2023, companies with 50 or more employees shall have established such a channel.

Companies’ whistleblowing channels must meet certain specific requirements set by law. Companies must, among other things, enable both oral and written reporting, and ensure that the person receiving the reports is independent and autonomous. A wide range of persons should be given the opportunity to report through the internal channels, in addition to workers, such opportunities shall also be provided to people such as subcontractors, consultants and trainees. In light of the new legislation, reviewing how your company should implement your whistleblowing channel is important. In addition to the statutory requirements for the functions of whistleblowing channels, companies also have an obligation of documentation regarding the internal reporting channels and the procedures therein, as well as an obligation to keep information about the whistleblower’s identity confidential.  Companies should also provide easily accessible information on how whistleblowers should proceed to make a report.

The new Whistleblower Act provides enhanced protection for whistleblowers. One of the most central parts of the law is that whistleblowers should be protected against retaliation. Employers may also not take action that prevents a whistleblower from reporting.

Even companies with fewer than 50 employees have reason to consider setting up an internal whistleblowing channel. Through internal whistleblowing channels, conditions are created to remedy any misconduct and irregularities in the workplace – which by extension increases confidence in the company among employees, shareholders, and customers.

A selection of some of our services linked to whistleblowing

Setterwalls’ dedicated team of lawyers is well acquainted with the complex regulatory and social requirements that companies face and we always deliver advice that meets ambitious expectations. Among other things, we assist in:

  • Establishment of whistleblowing systems. We collaborate with market leaders who provide complete technical solutions for receiving reports from whistleblowers. We can also assist in developing internal guidelines, information for whistleblowers, and various types of policy documents that ensure that the whistleblowing system is handled according to the Whistleblower Act’s requirements.
  • Review of compliance. We review companies’ internal whistleblowing channels and ensure that they meet the legal requirements.
  • External recipients. By hiring Setterwalls as a recipient, you ensure the independence and autonomy of your recipient function, and that feedback takes place within the statutory deadlines.
  • In-depth independent investigation as a result of whistleblowing: For those companies that choose to handle the recipient function themselves, we can assist when there is a need for an in-depth independent investigation as a result of a whistleblowing situation.
  • Personal data issues. The handling of whistleblower reports raises a number of questions that are closely linked to the regulations on the processing of personal data. Setterwalls has extensive expertise in personal data and privacy issues and provides qualified advice for your company’s handling of personal data in cases related to whistleblowing.

Swedish and international clients

Our clients include many of the country’s leading companies as well as leading international groups.