Legal advice

Whistleblower: Get confidential advice and support

Becoming a whistleblower and speaking up about objectionable conditions at your workplace can have major consequences for you. Read how you can best handle the situation and how IDA can support you along the way.

All private and public workplaces with more than 50 employees are required to have a whistleblower scheme.

If you do not have access to a whistleblower scheme at your workplace, or if you do not wish to use it, you can get help from IDA's legal department.

Here you can read more about what you should be aware of if you are considering becoming a whistleblower and how IDA can support you.

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who reports on illegal or immoral activity at their employer or in an organisation in which the whistleblower is engaged.

Unfortunately, being a whistleblower can often have major personal and professional consequences, as it is perceived by some as disloyal, even if the whistleblower acts conscientiously and ethically.

What are the consequences of being a whistleblower?

Being a whistleblower requires great courage and integrity, because criticising your employer can have both personal and financial consequences.

Even if your reporting is done anonymously, there is a risk that your identity will be revealed. It can be difficult to avoid, for example, if you are one of a limited number of employees who have access to the information you report on.

At the same time, you may experience great psychological pressure for a longer period of time, as it is not unusual for a case to be pending for a year, during which your colleagues will speculate as to who the whistleblower might be.

When you have reported on objectionable conditions at your workplace - possibly to an external authority - you also have no control over how the case will develop.

Be properly prepared if you are going to be a whistleblower

Before you become a whistleblower, it is important that you make sure that you know the relevant facts.

If you cannot document the objectionable conditions, it may be considered disloyalty to your employer, and then it may have negative consequences for you in the form of a reprimand, warning, dismissal and, in the extreme, expulsion.

Furthermore, it can have negative consequences for your colleagues or your manager if they are exposed to unjustified accusations.

It must also be clear that your motives for becoming a whistleblower are to correct the objectionable conditions and not to put your workplace, management or colleagues in a bad light. You must pay particular attention to this if there is reason to believe that you yourself can gain an advantage from reporting objectionable conditions.

What to do if you want to be a whistleblower

When blowing the whistle about objectionable circumstances, you should follow these steps:

  • Take up the matter internally: It is not a breach of your duty of confidentiality to pass on information about objectionable matters when you do so through internal command channels. You can either raise the matter with your manager or the whistleblower scheme at your workplace, depending on what makes sense in the situation.
  • Contact the relevant authority: It is risky to pass on information externally, and you must therefore choose the recipient carefully. Depending on what the case concerns, you should contact the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet), the Danish Business and Companies Agency (Erhvervs- og Selskabsstyrelsen) or the agency or ministry to which your workplace refers, rather than going directly to the Ombudsman, the Tax Authorities or the police.
  • The media is a last resort: Contacting the media should always be a last resort, and you must never use social media such as Facebook to talk about company-related matters.

If your workplace does not have a whistleblower scheme, or if you do not wish to use it, you can always contact IDA for confidential advice.

How IDA helps whistleblowers

You cannot report objectionable matters in the company where you are employed to IDA, but you can get confidential advice on how to handle the situation.

IDA's whistleblower support consists of specialists who are subject to an unconditional duty of confidentiality and who can handle any questions you may have.

IDA has also established a financial support scheme for dismissed whistleblowers who, under certain circumstances, can receive salary compensation from IDA for up to 9 months.

How to contact IDA

Avoid contacting IDA via email in whistleblower cases, as email communication is not encrypted.

You can instead contact IDA's legal department via My IDA. After this, one of IDA's whistleblower advisers will contact you as soon as possible.

When contacting IDA, you should not use a work computer or telephone.

Log in and contact IDA's legal advice for confidential help