New draft law on protection of whistleblowers in Poland in 2024

New draft law on protection of whistleblowers in Poland in 2024

Damian Sawicki |

The new draft of the Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers, presented on March 06, 2024, deserves special attention, as the Donald Tusk’s government has proposed a number of changes in it compared to the previous draft law.

What changes does the new draft law on whistleblowers introduce?

Analyzing the bill, it is worth noting several key novelties.

First, a change was made to the name of the law. The new draft assumes that it will be a "whistleblower law," which should be seen as a good direction, since the entire regulation is associated with the term "whistleblower," while the previous draft did not use this term even once.

Secondly, a number of changes have been introduced compared to the previous draft presented by the Law and Justice government, namely:

  1. expanding the scope of the regulation of the Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers beyond the minimum requirements of the EU Directive to also cover violations relating to human and civil rights and freedoms, corruption, human trafficking and labor law;
  2. changing the moment by which whistleblower protection is granted. According to the new draft, it is from the moment the notification is filed or public disclosure is made;
  3. A clear statement that both internal and external reporting can be done anonymously. The bill still does not make it mandatory to accept anonymous filings, but indicates that:
  1. The Law does not apply to anonymous submissions if an entity has not chosen to accept anonymous submissions;
  2. The procedure for handling anonymous reports must be described in the internal procedure for internal reports, regardless of whether the entity has chosen to handle them or not.
  1. Specify that a whistleblower against whom retaliation has been committed is entitled to compensation of no less than 12 times the average salary, as well as the right to redress.
  2. Clarify the calculation of the number of 50 people employed in a legal entity, conditioning the obligation to implement the internal reporting procedure. The law introduces a mechanism for calculating the 50 FTEs as of January 1 or July 1 of a given year.
  3. Set the effective date of the law at 3 months from the date of publication, except for the provisions on external notifications, which will take effect 6 months after the date of promulgation.

When will the Law on Whistleblowers 2024 come into effect?

According to media reports from politicians in the ruling camp, the law on whistleblowers should be enacted in the first quarter of 2024. the bill is currently at the stage of work with the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers.

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