Whistle-blowing in Peru according to Peruvian law, a whistle-blower is an employee who reports conduct that is against ethical principles. Whistle-blowers believe it is necessary to intervene in order to protect the integrity of the workplace or organization.
To be considered a whistle-blower, an employee has to denounce, in detail, the unethical conduct that occurred. The most common situations that are considered unethical and could be reported by employees are the following: divulging confidential information, acts of unfair competition that are detrimental to the employer and sexual harassment.
In Peru, the procedures to report unethical situations are usually established in the company’s rules. Internal regulations (codes of conduct, labor contracts, agreements, etc.) contain procedures for employees to report conduct and state the rights and guarantees for whistle-blowers and other witnesses.
It is recommended that businesses establish standards of conduct for employees and document them.
Guarantees and obligations for whistle-blowers
Internal regulations established by a company must contain procedures to denounce unethical behaviors and to protect whistle-blowers. The most important guarantee for them is confidentiality, especially during the reporting process.
To protect the personal data of the whistle-blower — depending on an employer’s size — the company could implement a confidential phone line or mailbox in the workplace. In those cases, the information provided could be anonymous or not; it is up to the employee to make that decision.
For sexual harassment cases, it is common in Peru to manage a personal interview with the victim, usually by someone from the Human Resources department.
Witnesses in sexual harassment situations are always protected, according to Supreme Decree No. 010-2003-MIMDES.
Additionally, whistle-blowers are obliged to present evidence, declarations and any other information that may help the company to determine responsibility for unethical conduct.
The evidence presented by the victim or the whistle-blower will support the investigation procedure by the company.
Peruvian legislation establishes penalties for employees who commit unethical acts, either against other workers or against the company.
According to labor legislation, breach of confidentiality, unfair competition and sexual harassment are all considered as causes for dismissal.
The conduct, reported by whistle- blowers, could also empower victims and the company to start a trial against the responsible party to claim compensation for damages caused.
Country-by-country and EU whistle-blowing rules need to be taken into account in setting the best practices and policies in this growing area of risk, including what an employer must do when faced with a whistle-blower claim, such as whether an investigation is required, protections of the employee who complained of company practices and litigation issues.
Best practice requires companies to take action in advance by creating a hotline and training its employees in ethical behavior.