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The Council of Ministers adopted a draft law on the protection of whistleblowers

Work on this project was to be completed in the previous term of the Polish Parliament, but it was not until April 2, 2024, during the new term of the Polish Parliament, that the Council of Ministers adopted a draft law on the protection of whistleblowers.

As with other EU member states, Poland committed to introduce the EU whistleblower directive into its national legal system by December 17, 2021, for public entities, and by December 17, 2023, for a group of entities in the private sector.

Protection of whistleblowers - new obligations

The directive obliges European Union member states to introduce their own regulations aimed at ensuring the possibility of reporting any violations of the law within organizations, while also ensuring the safety of individuals submitting these reports. Importantly, each company must also take actions to protect against maliciously reported abuses.

The new regulations introduce a series of new obligations companies will have to fulfill in the near future. Companies will be required to develop an internal reporting procedure, which will specify the rules for accepting reports and create a tool for their submission. Equally important obligations include: developing anti-discrimination procedures and adjusting to GDPR regulations.

Failure to implement a procedure or non-compliance with the law may result in fines imposed in misdemeanor cases. Hence, even if solutions have already been implemented, we recommend verifying their compliance with the new regulations.

Who is a whistleblower and to whom does the obligation apply?

A whistleblower is a person who in good faith, with an aim of improving a situation or preventing damage, anonymously reports irregularities, abuses or violations of the law in a company.

Whistleblower regulations will apply to entities from both the public and private sectors. Private companies are obliged to implement procedures if they employ a minimum of 50 workers.

The count of 50 individuals includes employees, subcontractors, and service providers (unless they themselves employ workers).


Legislative process

Penalties will be imposed for the failure to timely incorporate the EU whistleblower directive into national legal frameworks. The law should come into effect within 3 months of its adoption, so we can expect the whistleblower protection regulations to be in force as early as July.

Should you need any practical guidance on how to approach the implementation of these changes, please feel free to contact us.

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