Supporting People who Speak Out

Blueprint’s Free Library of Laws Impacting on Whistleblowing Protection

This library of legislation provides many of the laws that affect whether and how whistleblowers can seek legal protection in different countries. Some countries have stand-alone whistleblower protection laws, others may offer some protections via different legislation, such as employment law.

Select a country below to view laws that impact on whistleblower protection

Europe (European Union)

EU Directive 2015/849 on Anti-money Laundering and Counter-financing of terrorism

Directive 2014/56/EU on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts

Regulation 537/2014 on specific requirements regarding statutory audit of public-interest entities.

Directive 2014/65/EU on Markets in Financial Instruments

Directive 2013/36 on Capital Requirements

Regulation 575/2013 on Capital Requirements

Directive 2009/65 on Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS)

Regulation 2015/2365 on transparency of securities financing transactions

Directive 2016/97 on Insurance Distribution

Europe (country specific)

 Austria

§ 99 BWG
• Regulates disclosures within the banking sector, in line with relevant EU Directives
• Requires financial institutes to set up internal whistleblowing systems
• Requires employees to report irregularities

Austria

Richter- und Staatsanwaltschaftsdienstgesetz / Law for members of the judiciary

Austria

Beamtendienstrechtsgesetz / Civil Servants Law & Richter

 Belgium

Federal level: regulating breaches of integrity within public institutions

Bulgaria

Criminal Procedures Code:
• Requires citizens to report criminal acts
• Doesn’t regulate protection for reporting persons

 

 Bulgaria

Administrative Procedure Code
• Contains provisions for public sector employees to report abuse of power, corruption, mismanagement of public property, and other illegal or inappropriate acts that affect state or public interests
• Doesn’t explicitly regulate protection for reporting persons

Bulgaria

Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act
• Regulates the disclosure of information about conflicts of interests
• Doesn’t explicitly regulate protection for reporting persons

Croatia

Labour Act forbids the firing of employees who report corruption based on a reasonable belief that the information is true

Croatia

Criminal Code bans dismissing an employee whose corruption report is found to be true by a court

 Croatia

Witness Protection Act protects witnesses in crimincal proceedings

Croatia

Civil Obligation Act regulates remedies and compensation on damages

Croatia

Civil servants can derive protection from certain provisions in the Civil Service Law if reporting corruption

 Cyprus

Criminal Law criminalizes non-reporting of wrongdoing

Cyprus

Public Service Law
• Requires employees to report wrongdoing
• Criminalizes retaliation

Cyprus

Termination of Employment Law
• Potentially shields employees from reporting felonies
• Employees have to make sure to comply with company regulations

 Czech Republic

Labour Code
• Includes regulation on unfair dismissal for all employees

Czech Republic

Administrative Procedure Code
• allows employees to submit reports confidentially and anonymously;
• lacks protective measures

Denmark

Consitution
• Grants freedom of expression

 Denmark

Public Administration Act
• Includes a clause obliging to maintain secrecy

Denmark

Criminal Code:
• Allows employees to report misconduct
• Doesn’t include protective measures

Denmark

Employers’ and Salaried Employees’ Act
• Includes framework for compensation in cases of arbitrary dismissal

 Estonia

Anti-Corruption Act
• bans public officials from concealing corrupt acts
• grants them confidentiality and retaliation protection
• can be applied outside of public sector

Estonia

Penal Code
• false complaints are punishable

Estonia

Witness Protection Act protects witnesses before, during and after court proceedings

 Finland

Employments Contract Act
• Protects against unfair dismissal
• Similar provisions to be found in the Loal Officials Act (not available online)

Finland

Non-Discrimination Act
• Prohibits discrimination and harassment

France

Loi Sapin II (2016) Since the law has been introduced quite recently, it is currently taking effect. There are no known reforms or amendments in planning.

 Germany

BGB §§622 – 630 (Termination of employment relationship)

Germany

KschG (Protection against Unfair Dismissal Act)

Greece

In 2014, legislation was introduced to protect Civil Servants; Private Sector employees have to derive protection from labour law; Very limited, uncomprehensive legislation

Law 4254/2014

 Hungary

“Act on Complaints and Public Interest Disclosures” (introduced in 2014) Hungarian: 2013. évi CLXV törvény a panaszokról és a közérdekű bejelentésekről

 Ireland

Protected Disclosures Act 2014

 Italy

Luxembourg

Loi du 13 février 2011 renforçant les moyens de lutte contre la corruption

(“Law on Strengthening the Means to Fight Corruption”)

Introduced as modifications to
a) Labour Code
b) Public Service Law
c) Communal Service Law
d) Criminal procedures code
e) Criminal Code

Law mainly aimed at combating corruption; includes provisions how to deal with disclosures of illegal acts

Malta

Protection of Whistleblowers Act, introduced in 2013

Netherlands

Wet huis voor klokkenluiders / Bill House of the Whistleblower

 Poland

Kodeks postępowania karnego /
Criminal Procedure Code

• defines it as a civic duty to report offenses à lex imperfect
• indirectly defines whistleblowing as moral duty
• but: no protective measures foreseen

 Poland

Labour Code
• provides protection against unfair dismissal à workers eligible to compensation
• from Article 101 § 2.4 it can be derived that the failure to report illegal activities within a work environment constitutes the failure to comply with contractual duties

Poland

Criminal Code
• includes general penalties for unfair dismissal, discrimination and harassment

Portugal

Labour Law:
• Protects against unfair dismissal
• Employees cannot be retaliated against if reporting crimes à no mechanism to ensure

Portugal

Law 19/2008 (amended by Law 30/2015) (no link available)
• Ensure compliance with EU & GRECO recommendations in the fight against corruption
• Theoretically criminalizes retaliation against employees reporting corruption
• Extended to private sector by 2015 amendment
• No mechanism to ensure implementation
• Requires companies to have some kind of mechanism in place
• Oversight: Public Prosecutor’s Office
• Criminal sanctions for retaliation against or disclosure of personal information of employee reporting corruption

Romania

Law no. 571/2004 on the protection of the personnel belonging to public authorities, public
institutes and other entities which signal violations of the law

 Slovakia

“Act No.307/2014” Coll. on certain measures related to Reporting the Anti-social Activities Act, and on Amendment and Supplements to Certain Acts

 Slovenia

Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act
Zakon o integriteti in preprečevanju korupcije (ZIntPK)

Spain

Ley Orgánica 19/1994, de 23 de diciembre, de protección a testigos y peritos en causas criminales /
Witness Protection Law
• protects witnesses in criminal proceedings; no special clause for whistleblowers

 United Kingdom

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998