Whistleblowing and whistleblower protection

Whistleblowing and whistleblower protection

Lawyer for Whistleblowing and Whistleblower Protection Law

The Whistleblower Protection Act (HSchG) took the compliance world by storm in 2023. Since then at the latest, an internal whistleblower system is an important part of a professional compliance management system. As a specialised law firm, we are at your side in all legal matters relating to whistleblowing and whistleblower protection.
Wir bieten Ihnen vertrauliche Rechtsberatung zum HinweisgeberInnenschutzgesetz (HSchG) und Whistleblowing in Österreich

Legal framework for whistleblowing in Austria

The EU’s Whistleblower Directive requires EU member states to implement minimum standards for the protection of whistleblowers into national law. In Austria, the Whistleblower Protection Act (HSchG) came into force in 2023. The law enables whistleblowers to report legal violations confidentially. Whistleblowers enjoy special protection under this law and have both internal and external reporting channels at their disposal.

The HSchG made the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) responsible as an external reporting office for whistleblowers. In addition, the whistleblower system of the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office for the Prosecution of Economic Crime and Corruption (WKStA) was already available for reporting economic and corruption offences. Companies and managers will therefore increasingly have to deal with external reports.

Whistleblowing as a legal interdisciplinary matter

From a legal perspective, whistleblowing is a interdisciplinary matter. Not only the HSchG, but also numerous other legal matters must be taken into account when setting up the reporting channel. Various aspects must also be taken into account when Reviewing Whistleblower Tips and initiating follow-up measures and Internal Investigations. These include, for example, criminal law, civil law, labour law, corporate law and data protection law issues.

Lawyer for whistleblowing throughout Austria

Dr. Elias Schönborn is a specialist in whistleblowing and regularly lectures on current topics in this field. In addition, he regularly publishes specialist articles on this area of law and is co-author of the first Austrian legal Commentary on the Whistleblower Protection Act.

As a law firm specialising in whistleblowing, we support you in all legal matters relating to whistleblowing and provide the following services for you nationwide in this context:

  • Legal Advice on the HSchG and on criminal and civil law issues relating to whistleblowing
  • Providing Legal Opinions and Conducting Presentations and Employee Training on these topics
  • Setting up the internal whistleblower system and acting as a Trusted Lawyer
  • Initial Legal Review of notices as part of the Tip-Check
  • Criminal Defense in the event of external indications to law enforcement authorities
  • Legal support for Internal Investigations following receipt of a whistleblower tip
  • Support with compliance measures after a whistleblower has revealed a gap in the company’s compliance management system
  • Assertion of claims for damages following the internal clarification of a whistleblower report in the course of Private Participation or the Initiation of Civil Proceedings

Do you have questions about Whistleblowing or do you need legal support?

Contact us.