“What is left when honor is lost?” - Publilius Syrus
The new Act on the Protection of Whistleblowers, which is supposed to transpose into the Czech law the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, implements for selected entities the duty to set up an internal whistleblowing system within the organisation, making it possible for people internally to report any harm to the public interest, illegal activities or attempts to conceal illegal activities.
The system of whistleblowing must be safe, technologically and personally available, secured and anonymous, avoiding the risk of work-related retaliation the whistleblower may run. Furthermore, the obliged persons shall also establish appropriate internal procedures for receiving and following up on the report. An essential duty is then the designation of a person responsible in this regard – a so-called whistleblowing officer. The deadline is the end of March 2022.
The reports may concern a wide range of possible illegal activities, having the characteristics of a crime or a misdemeanour. Furthermore, reports may be made also about activities breaching the national law or the EU law in the following areas: public procurement, financial services and markets, AML regulation, consumer protection, safety of movement, transport and traffic on roads, radiation protection and nuclear safety, protection of the environment, public health, food and feed safety, as well as animal health and welfare, protection of the privacy and personal data, and safety of networks and information systems.
The duty applies especially to all companies with at least 25 employees and, especially, to contracting authorities in public procurement (except municipalities having less than 5 thousands inhabitants, unless this is a municipality with extended powers), insurance and re-insurance companies, banks, investment funds, providers of consumer credits. Should the internal whistleblowing system not be implemented, high penalties may be imposed. The proposed Act on the Protection of Whistleblowers envisages financial sanctions up to CZK 1,000,000 or 5 % of the net turnover for the last finished accounting period.
The law office Advokátní kancelář Kříž a partneři s.r.o. offers complete solution of implementation of the whistleblowing system. The head of the work group for provision of the services of whistleblowing solutions is JUDr. Michal Morawski. We can also provide performance of the position of an external whistleblowing officer, through our cooperating specialist Mgr. et Mgr. Miroslav Šuma. He has already vast experience from performance of a similar function - since the implementation of the GDPR he has been performing the function of the Data Protection Officer for lots of our clients.