One third of executives confronted with "illegal practices" at work, little reported drifts

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Illustration image of a business executive. – pixabay

Will the status of whistleblowers be strengthened? This is what a dozen organizations are asking for, who have sent an "open letter
to the President of the Republic "this Thursday. According to a survey * conducted by one of them, the Ugict-CGT, more than a third of executives say they are witnesses of
illegal practices in their work. Drifts very little denounced for lack of protection.

Of 36% of executives who witnessed "illegal or unethical practices", 42% did not report these abuses. If they did not warn about these shortcomings, it is because of the absence of process, or because they do not have confidence in it: only 51% of the executives declare that there is a warning system in their company, but 42% believe that, if it exists, it is ineffective. And 51% consider it risky to denounce unethical practices in their business.

The "limits" of the Sapin law

Whistleblowers have been protected by law since 2016 (Loi Sapin 2). But this one has "limits" which must be corrected, underline in an open letter to Emmanuel Macron about fifty signatories of a broad spectrum of unions (CGT, FO, CGC, CFDT, FSU etc.) and associations (Journalists' companies, League of Human Rights,
Greenpeace, Attac etc.)

The first European directive on whistleblowers was adopted last October and must be transposed within two years by France, providing an opportunity to strengthen French law, underscore the signatories. Indeed, the directive goes further on several topics: it allows whistleblowers to choose either their company or an external authority (judicial or administrative, national or international) to denounce the facts, while in France, they must first enter their internal hierarchy.

The directive also reinforces the right of every worker to be defended by a staff representative or a trade union in his alert procedure, which is not the case in French law.

A right of asylum for whistleblowers

The signatories of the call also ask to extend the status of whistleblower to legal persons (associations, unions), while the French law applies only to natural persons (individuals). They advocate the creation of a support fund and the granting of asylum rights for whistleblowers. The Ugict-CGT organizes this Thursday in Paris the first "European meeting of whistleblowers".

* The Ugict-CGT / Group 3E survey was conducted by Viavoice among 1,000 representative executives (quota method applied to gender, age, occupation, region and sector of activity) interviewed online from 6 to 13 September 2019.

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