EU’s new Whistleblowing Directive: Rights and obligations

Organisations employing more than 50 people are on track to being obliged to provide internal mechanisms for whistleblowing. At the same time, they must comply with the GDPR. By Laura Linkomies.

The European Union’s Whistleblowing Directive 2019(1) protects individuals who report or publish violations of applicable law. The Directive, which entered into force in 2021, aims to help people reporting breaches of EU law that are harmful to the public interest. It provides the opportunity for anonymous reporting, but this depends on national interpretation of the Directive, and is not the main aim of the Directive.

Although EU Member States had until 17 December 2021 to transpose the Directive into national law, transposition has still not occurred in several countries. The EU Commission initiated infringement proceedings against them in January 2022. (See the table for the EU Member States which have transposed the Directive into national law.)

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