Now more than a year behind schedule, the National Council has passed the new Whistleblower Protection Act, implementing the EU Whistleblower Directive.
Companies are in need of action:
According to the new law, all companies with 50 or more employees must set establish an internal reporting system. For the setup Companies with more than 50 but less than 250 employees have until December 17th, 2023. For companies with more employees, there is a transitional period of six months starting with the the entry into force of the law – i.e., August 25th, 2023.
A confidential internal channel must be set up as a whistleblowing system through which illegal behavior can be reported either verbally or in writing. This could be achieved, for example, through a hotline, an e-mail box or a dedicated platform on the Internet, which meet the legal requirements. The chosen method must however guarantee the confidentiality of the persons involved.
Scope of protection of the Whistleblower Act:
Employees may not suffer any adverse consequences, such as suspension, termination, denial of promotion, transfer, issuance of a bad reference or other financial sanctions as retaliation to an act of whistleblowing.
However, only whistleblowing in the areas of public procurement, financial services, product safety, transport safety, environmental protection, radiation protection, food safety, animal welfare, public health, consumer protection, data protection and the prevention of corruption are protected in this way.