More than 400 private companies have committed themselves to helping whistle-blowers who lose their jobs due to reporting corruption at work. The companies have joined the Backing the Bold Ones initiative, which has been launched by the ethics watchdog Transparency International Slovakia (TIS) in cooperation with the Pontis Foundation and the Club of Goodwill Clerks.
“They’ll offer people who lose their job as a result of reporting corruption either an interview at their companies, or with coaching, counselling and requalification for a future career,” said coordinator of the initiative Zuzana Hlávková of TIS, as cited by the TASR newswire. Hlávková blew the whistle on overpriced orders made by the Slovak presidency of the Council of EU.
TIS director Gabriel Šípoš said that Slovakia is one of the countries with the lowest levels of willingness to report corruption within the EU.
“Only four out of ten Slovaks would do so, compared to two thirds of people in the EU,” said Šípoš, adding that Slovaks are not keen on reporting corruption because they do not believe that the police will investigate the case correctly and they also fear sanctions, including the possibility of losing their job.
The firms that have so far joined the initiative employ around 140,000 people and are among the top 20 employers in Slovakia. Other companies can still join the initiative via the TIS website.