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The Sejm passed the whistleblower protection act

LAWThe Sejm passed the whistleblower protection act

On Thursday, May 23rd, the Sejm passed the Whistleblower Protection Act, aimed at protecting individuals who report violations of the law, regardless of the basis and form of employment or service.

What to Remember When Implementing Whistleblower Protection in Your Organization?

The act allows for the submission of anonymous reports.

  • The burden of proof lies with the employer to demonstrate that actions taken against the whistleblower are not retaliatory.
  • A whistleblower who is subjected to retaliation is entitled to compensation or restitution.
  • The obligation to implement an internal procedure applies, in principle, to employers for whom at least 50 people are gainfully employed as of January 1 or July 1 of a given year.
  • The introduction of an internal procedure must be preceded by consultations with the company trade union organization or employee representatives. Consultations last no less than 5 days and no more than 10 days from the day the employer presents the draft reporting procedure.
  • Private entities belonging to a capital group may establish a common internal reporting procedure.

The act also provides for criminal provisions. It should be noted here that anyone responsible for establishing an internal reporting procedure who fails to establish it or establishes it with a significant violation is subject to a fine.

According to Dr. Beata Baran – Wesołowska from BKB Baran Książek Bigaj law firm:

“The Whistleblower Protection Act constitutes a breakthrough. Until now, the Polish legal system lacked comprehensive regulations in this area. Particular attention should be paid to the broad catalog of subject matter reports, including labor law violations, corruption, and irregularities related to procurement procedures. Crucially, information about reported violations should be obtained in a work-related context (in a professional context).”

The act comes into effect in most of its provisions three months after its announcement. Considering the rapid pace of work on the act, this is the last moment to adapt your organizations to the new legal requirements.

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