In previous editions of the newsletter we informed you that the Whistleblower Protection Act, which transposes the EU Directive, was due to come into force on 17 December 2021. Due to the new Chamber of Deputies, the bill has to be renegotiated and it is already clear that it will not be passed by that date.
What does this mean for companies?
As of 17 December 2021, private sector whistleblowers will also be able to file notifications with the Ministry of Justice, which will deal with the notifications. The Ministry will examine the submissions received and may refer them to other public authorities, such as the tax administration or the police.
Whistleblowers will also be able to make their notifications public, subject to certain conditions. In the event of a legal dispute between the whistleblower and the employer, the whistleblower will be protected under the EU Directive.
We therefore recommend the introduction of an ethics hotline on 17 December 2021 so that whistleblowers can contact you and you are the first to know about potential breaches and risks and keep them under control.
What does this mean for the public sphere?
As the Directive will not be transposed within the deadline, its provisions will become directly binding on the State and the public sphere. By 17 December 2021, public institutions, including ministries, regions, municipalities and the organisations they set up, will have to establish secure channels and procedures for receiving, managing and investigating notifications, and to set up ‚competent persons‘ to deal with such notifications.
We will be happy to present the possibilities of the ethics hotline and follow-up processes. Please contact us and together we will work out the best solution for you.