Polish bill on whistleblowers after public consultation

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Polish bill on whistleblowers after public consultation

A draft whistleblower bill has been published on the Government Legislation Centre website, taking into account the changes following a public consultation.

The Act will implement the principles of the Polish legal order Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council COUNCIL DECISION of 23 October 2019 on the protection of whistleblowers of Union law.

Although the changes were made as a result of the consultation, the bill still contains many contradictions and ambiguities that may result in problems in the practical implementation of the legislation by employers:

  • The Legislature has not decided to introduce mandatory anonymous reporting of irregularities, leaving obliged entities the opportunity to implement anonymous notifications at their will; this means that if anonymous reports are not allowed to be submitted to the given employers, anonymous applications can be left without recognition;
  • Employment limits determining the exemption of the entity from the obligation to implement the internal notification system — the first version of the bill referred to a limit of 50 employees. Currently, after the changes, the project stipulates that entities for which at least 50 people perform work will be exempted from the implementation of the internal notification system. At the same time, the legislature does not specify the concept of “doing work”, which may include persons providing services under civil law contracts. As a consequence, employers will have to guess for themselves whether the obligation to implement them applies or not.
  • The Legislature classified as forms of prohibited retaliatory actions imprecise concepts that would raise interpretive doubts, such as “unfavorable or unfair treatment”, “tarnishing reputation”.

More information about Bill for the Protection of People Reporting Violations of Law on the pages of the Government Legislation Center.

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