Whistleblowing - a mandatory reporting system in almost every company

On 17 December 2021, the deadline for the adoption of the Czech law implementing the Directive on the protection of whistleblowers will expire. Unfortunately, the Czech Parliament has not yet had time to approve the Czech law. However, state authorities, regions, municipalities and public universities must comply with the obligations imposed by the Directive from 18 December.

Private employers will not be subject to the whistleblower protection obligations until a date to be determined by the Czech law. However, a number of Czech companies are already preparing to set up a system for whistleblowing or are even implementing such a system, according to the rules set out in the European Directive. The most important obligation associated with whistleblowing is the introduction of a whistleblowing system for each employer with a certain number of employees. In the Czech law, it was proposed to introduce a system for companies with at least 25 employees; the directive envisages companies with 50 employees or more. Through this whistleblowing system, employees will be able to safely and anonymously report their complaints for investigation of alleged illegal practices. Each company will have to designate an impartial individual to receive the reports. Of course, retaliation against the whistleblower, such as termination of their employment, is prohibited.

The European Commission has been more active than the Czech legislator in relation to this regulation and has issued a very substantial interpretative opinion according to which the companies forming a group are obliged to set up a notification system for each company separately, it is not sufficient to have only one central notification system.