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Number of reports

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In all four countries, more than half of the companies surveyed received whistleblowing reports from the whistleblowing system last year (Figure 46). There are clear differences depending on company size: the larger the company, the higher the probability of reporting (see country charts).

The statistical analysis also shows that whistleblowing systems of international companies and public sector enterprises are used more frequently. French companies received the fewest whistleblowing reports from their whistleblowing systems.

In the last study, which was carried out in Switzerland only, 29 per cent of large companies received no reports in 2017. At 40 per cent, the proportion is significantly higher in this year's survey. Receiving no reports or a low number of reports can be an indication that there are few or no cases of misconduct in a company. On the other hand, a low number can be due to a lack of awareness or distrust on the part of stakeholders. The available data does not allow for a clear explanation of the reasons.

Looking more closely at the number of reports, companies received an average of 52 last year across all countries and company sizes. Here, too, the size of the company is a decisive factor. The larger a company, the more whistleblowing reports the whistleblowing system receives. Large companies receive an average of 65 reports per year and SMEs 16.

In addition, it can be observed that specialized reporting channels - i.e. hotline/call centres, mobile apps, social media and web-based whistleblowing systems – are a driver for the number of reports. Companies with these reporting channels receive more reports than companies that use general channels (personal visits, letter/fax, e-mail and telephone). In addition, in-depth statistical analysis shows that more reports are received by the whistleblowing system if communication is facilitated via as many channels as possible.