In 2021 employers must prepare for changes to whistleblowers

Jul 27, 2021

We remind you that by December 17, 2021, private and public sector entities must implement channels enabling anonymous whistleblowing. It is about implementing Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the so-called whistleblower protection directive).

Poland has to implement it by December 16, 2021. Currently, legislation work in this regard is in progress.

On whom the obligation will be imposed

The provisions will apply to legal entities from the private and public sectors, with the exception of those employing fewer than 50 employees (firstly, the requirements are to apply to enterprises employing at least 250 employees).

Who can be a whistleblower

The whistleblower may be not only an employee or colleague, but also supplier or job applicant.

It is not worth waiting until the last minute with implementation works

Many employers, especially those operating within European or global corporations, already have certain control systems and systems for such whistleblowing in place. These entities will only have to review them and adjust them to specific solutions that will be provided for in the Polish law. Therefore it is worth starting preparations now, based on the above Directive 2019/1937, by collecting and checking all policies, regulations and other internal acts already in force in the company or group, which include the channels of information transfer by whistleblowers and the further procedure of its recognition. This approach will allow for the preparation of a good reporting system, consistent with other internal company acts. Waiting for the act to be announced may mean that you will have very little time to create the necessary documents and implement them, especially if there are trade unions in the company. It should also be remembered that whistleblower procedures pose many problems related to the protection of personal data, including the GDPR.

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