Be prepared for transposition
The whistleblower directive proposal was adopted by the European Parliament 16 April in the first reading face. Now the only thing left is the final rubber-stamping and publication of the proposal in the Official Journal of the EU. Once that is done and dusted we will be moving to the next face: transposition of the directive. Trade unions have the opportunity to influence how the directive will play out on national level.
There are four major issues for trade unions to fix during the two-year transposition period:
1. Fix trade union rights
- The right to be represented by a trade union must be included.
2. Fix the scope
- Workers rights, discrimination and occupational health and safety must be give right to protection when reporting. Or even better: cover breaches in all areas by a horizontal protection.
- Make sure to include national legislation, not only EU law.
3. Fix the internal reporting
- Reporting internally to a line manager, supervisor, or the HR-department must grant protection and not only using the
dedicated internal reporting channel. This is not clear enough in the directive.
4. Fix the criminal-offence trap
- National law determines if reporting persons are liable for “selfstanding criminal offences”. It must be safe to use documents at the work-place for a report without risking criminal liability.
Who are protected by the directive?
The directive protects persons who report in a work-related context in both the private and public sector. The list of who are protected is open but includes more than employees, such as for example self-employed, unpaid volunteers, shareholders and subcontractors. Protection is granted also when in a recruiting process for a new job or after a job has ended. Third persons, such as relatives and colleagues and ‘facilitators’ who give confidential assistance to the whistleblower are protected as well.
What can you blow the whistle on and be protected?
The reporting person must have reasonable grounds to believe that the information reported was true at the time of reporting and that the information falls within the scope of the Directive.
The scope includes breaches in public procurement, financial services, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, product safety, transport safety, protection of the environment, radiation protection and nuclear safety, food and feed safety, animal health and welfare, public health, consumer protection, protection of privacy and personal data and security of network and information systems, protection of the financial interests of the Union, breaches of internal market rules, including competition and State aid rules and corporate taxation.
Not only unlawful acts are included in the scope but also acts and omissions that go against the objective of a Union law.
Today, on World Whistleblowing Day 2021 – less than 6 months before the deadline to transpose the Directive – we highlight key developments in EU countries since the publication of the report.
The partnership of Eurocadres, the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN) and Transparency International EU is delighted to announce the development and launch of EU Whistleblowing Monitor, a new online platform to monitor transposition and implementation of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing (2019/1937) across Europe.
Seven months remains for EU member states to transpose the whistleblower directive into national legislation.
Can transposing the Whistleblower Protection Directive be done on time? Maybe, but not at the cost of transparency and inclusiveness
EU governments were given two years to bring their national whistleblowing frameworks in line with the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection.
Transposition of the Whistleblower Protection Directive is a chance to ensure that people can expose abuses safely across the European Union – but EU nations might be letting the opportunity pass us all by.
The EU Whistleblowing Meter tracks the progress of transposition in each country.
Professor Wim Vandekerckhove from University of Greenwich has analysed the work of the platform in reaching a directive proposal on the protection of whistleblowers.
EVENT – 23 February, 14:00 – 15:30 (CET)
What should be the role of trade unions in whistleblowing? Which internal arrangements, should be in place to establish a culture which promotes whistleblowing?
On World Whistleblowing Day, 23 June, the Whistleblowing International Network along with its many partners and colleagues across Europe are launching the EU Whistleblowing Meter