Governance

The term “Governance” describes management and the possibility of accountability in companies. Important parts in this area are the description of powers for different types of decisions at different levels in the company and the division of responsibilities in different matters between the CEO and the board.

In most larger companies, the operations are often governed by different policies. In a policy, the company’s management or board has decided how various issues should be handled on a principled level. Based on these principles, employees then act, without every decision having to go up to the highest level.

An important type of policy is an internal code of conduct. The content of such may vary, but questions that are often addressed are:

 

  • Zero tolerance against discrimination
  • Prevention of corruption/bribery and conflicts of interest
  • Health and safety
  • Relations with competitors
  • Principles regarding supplier relations
  • Overall environmental considerations
  • Handling of personal data

Case: Code of Conduct

Elis Textile Service highlights in its “Group Ethics” how the company’s employees are expected to act in a number of different areas. In addition to clear guidelines, the document also contains a range of potential situations that employees may face, and answers to what action is expected based on the company’s code of conduct.

 

Read more here.

Whistleblower law

🇸🇪 🇩🇰 In Sweden and Denmark, all employers with more than 50 employees must have an internal whistleblower function. Employees, volunteers, interns, consultants, and shareholders must be able to turn to the whistleblower function to report wrongdoing – without risk of reprisals. Read more here: Whistleblowerordning – hvad betyder det for din virksomhed? – DI (danskindustri.dk)

It can be about e.g. suspicions of corruption, discrimination, money laundering, or safety deficiencies in workplaces. There are no rules regarding what can be reported via a whistleblower system and it is always positive to use the system if there are suspicions.

Whistleblowers must be protected against reprisals from employers. Retaliation means that whistleblowers e.g. misses out on promotions or reasonable raises. If a whistleblower is subjected to reprisals, there must be a right to compensation.

Whistleblower alarms must be handled by specially appointed persons or units that must be independent and independent.

🇸🇪 In Sweden, the Swedish Work Environment Agency is the supervisory authority to ensure that employers meet the legal requirements to establish internal whistleblower functions. Read more here

🇩🇰 In Denmark, the Danish National Whistleblower Scheme under The Danish Data Protection Agency is the supervisory authority to ensure that employers meet the legal requirements to establish internal whistleblower functions. Read more at Den Nationale Whistleblowerordning

Quiz – What have we learned about Governance?
 

What is the term Governance usually used to describe?

Correct! Wrong!

What is an internal code of conduct?

Correct! Wrong!

If the protective equipment offered at work is considered inadequate, and the employer does not correct this, despite being pointed out, what can employees do?

Photo by Jakob Braun on Unsplash
Correct! Wrong!