The legislative process of the Czech Whistleblower Protection Act (the “Act”), which transposes EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the “Directive”), is finally completed. The Act will become effective on 1 August 2023.
The Act will allow individuals (whistleblowers) to draw attention to potentially unlawful conduct at an entity or individual person for which/whom the whistleblower works or with which/whom the whistleblower is in contact in a work-related context. The Act introduces a new obligation to establish an internal reporting channel for whistleblowers and designate an impartial person to deal with the reports. This obligation will apply, among others, to employers with at least 50 employees. The Act also allows whistleblowers to make reports via an external reporting channel to the Ministry of Justice and, in the most severe cases, even make the report public.
These rules, deriving from the Directive, have been widely known and discussed in the media; however, there are still many misconceptions regarding the Act that require clarification. Continue reading to learn about the five most common misconceptions.
No. 1: The Act only affects employers with at least 50 employees
No. 2: The reports can relate to any unlawful or unethical practices at a company
No. 3: Whistleblowers can make anonymous reports
No. 4: If a company already has an ethics hotline, it does not have to bother with the Act
No. 5: There will be enough time to establish an internal whistleblowing channel
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The article was written by CMS partner Tomáš Matĕjovský, senior associate Jakub Kabát, associate Jana Turečková and was first published on CMS Law-Now on June 16, 2023, available here