WHAT IS A THIRD-PARTY ETHICS HELPLINE?
Employees are a first line of defense in protecting companies from the risks of unethical conduct and non-compliance. Effective communication and reporting on ethics is a key element of good governance that can act as an early warning system for organizations seeking to promptly detect, address and deter ethical violations. While most companies have internal channels through which cases or concerns can be reported/ voiced, employees often hesitate to use these due to either a lack of awareness and/or doubtful confidence in the system credibility.
Third Party Ethics Helpline / Whistleblower Hotline:
A Third-party Ethics Helpline (Whistleblower Hotline) serves to bridge this communication gap by facilitating secure, reliable and confidential transfer of information from reporters to Company management. It is an additional avenue for reporting cases, raising concerns or queries beyond Company’s existing reporting channels.
The integrated web based Case Management System feature helps leadership respond promptly to the reports in line with internal process to identify and address patterns or areas of concern. A comprehensive online and offline communication and awareness campaign is key to accomplish the helpline effectiveness (customized to the Company culture).
Whistleblower Hotline is a bona fide and credible Speak Up system that:
Protects the Company:
- Helps the Company detect risks that won’t be picked up in any other way (de-risk mechanism).
- An external and independent, third party specialist provider is more likely to be engaged by reporters due to its confidential, professional and objective handling of concerns (global best practice).
- Helps isolate and contain an issue within the purview of internal control mechanisms. Encourages reporting internally before venturing outside the Company, either to the media, social media or the regulator.
- Encourages employees/vendors to red-flag and report actual or potential violations of guidance from the Company’s Code-of-Conduct, policies or law.
- Most organizations are vulnerable victims of malpractice or theft at the hands of a few of their employees. Given this threat, a multi-channel/multi-lingual helpline for employees to speak up securely is an instrument that could help promptly address a concern and correct/ prevent such misconduct.
- Reassures employees (reporters) that their concerns are important, and encourages the secure voicing of issues/ problems to be brought to the attention of management.
- Provides the reporter (complainant) with safe harbor entitlement (for a genuine case)
- Sends a strong message to all levels and stakeholders that violations of the Code and business malpractices will not be tolerated.
Advantages of a Third-Party:
- Availability of professionally developed and managed services.
- External provider helps establish the program’s independence, credibility and organizational commitment.
- Flexibility in the choice of reporting channels along with high availability.
- Easily extended to your external stakeholders like suppliers, vendors, business partners etc.
- Incorporation of global best practices including those from OECD, ACFE, IBE and more
- Reduction of IT costs by leveraging Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities.
“Integrity Matters not only provides the most robust Whistleblower Hotline, but also works closely with organizations to ensure its effectiveness”
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier
Traditional click-through information and quiz courses miss the ingredients for employees to relate to them, internalize the information, and apply it. We provide a highly engaging learning experience that leverages the power of interactions, scenarios and advanced animation to impart learning that will stick and get applied at work.
Avg. revenue lost to internal malpractice
Sources of detection
- Tip-offs 53.1% 53.1%
- Internal Audit 21.9% 21.9%
- Management Review 9.4% 9.4%
- By Accident 4.2% 4.2%
- Other 11.3% 11.3%
Tip-offs communicated anonymously
Reports by issue type
- HR Related (harassment, discrimination etc.) 60% 60%
- Business Integrity (vendor issues, CoI etc.) 18% 18%
- Misappropriation or Misuse of Assets 7% 7%
- Financial Misconduct 2% 2%
- Others 13% 13%
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