Bill on the protection of whistleblowers: how does it affect employers?

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Newsflash
Datum:
22 Jun 2022

Newsflash

Bill no. 7945 transposing Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (hereinafter referred to as the “Bill”) is designed to establish a new legislative framework to protect whistleblowers in Luxembourg (see our newsflash of 28 January 2022), thus introducing new obligations for employers.

The new obligations that employers will need prepare for on this issue are as follows:

  • The obligation to introduce internal reporting channels and procedures

As a reminder, private legal companies with more than 50 employees would have to set up internal reporting channels allowing whistleblowers to inform their employer in confidence about significant breaches of national law.

Like private legal companies, public legal companies would also need to establish channels and procedures for internal reporting and follow-ups. This obligation applies to all public legal companies, including all companies owned or controlled by them and the municipal authorities for municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants.

  • The obligations for internal reporting procedures

The Bill imposes obligations on employers regarding internal reporting procedures and how they are followed up.

These procedures must include the establishment of secure channels to receive reports from whistleblowers, so that the identity of the whistleblower is kept confidential, as is any third party mentioned in the report, timely follow-up by a competent, impartial (internal or external) individual or department appointed in advance, as well as a reasonable period of time to provide feedback.

When establishing the internal reporting procedure, the company’s staff representative group should have different levels of involvement depending on the size of the company:

  • For companies with fewer than 150 employees, the staff representative group would have to be informed and could share its views as well as proposals for modifications.
  • For companies with more than 150 employees, the principle of a joint decision between the employer and the staff representative group would apply.

Private legal companies with between 50 and 249 employees would have a transition period until 17 December 2023 to comply with the obligations relating to internal channels.

However, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the above transition period would not apply to private companies with 250 or more employees.

As the Bill is in principle expected to come into force between September 2022 and December 2022, private legal companies with 250 or more employees will need to have a procedure in place for internal reporting in order to comply with the law, as soon as it comes into force.