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Whistleblower Protection Act

The Whistleblower Protection Act is a German law that protects whistleblowers. The law came into force in July 2021 to protect people who report grievances in the workplace and protect them from discrimination. Companies and administrations must comply with the law, which regulates the handling of reports of violations of applicable law, such as corruption, discrimination or environmental pollution.

What is the purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act?

The Whistleblower Protection Act is intended to ensure that whistleblowers can report misconduct or breaches of the law without fear of reprisals. It sets out clear rules for dealing with reports and obliges companies above a certain size to set up reporting channels. Whistleblowers are to be protected in order to promote transparency and make it easier to uncover wrongdoing. What provisions does the law make? Employees must be able to use internal reporting procedures so that they can provide anonymous information on possible violations. These reports must be treated confidentially and investigated within a reasonable period of time. It is also the responsibility of companies to protect whistleblowers from discrimination and must not penalize them.

What impact does the law have on companies?

Companies must meet high requirements to ensure the protection of whistleblowers in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act. It is necessary for companies to develop and implement guidelines and processes to fulfill the legal requirements. They must also ensure that their employees are informed about their rights as whistleblowers and receive training on how to handle reports. Companies risk fines and damage to their reputation if they violate the law.

EU Directive and Situation in Switzerland

Member states must also implement an EU directive on whistleblower protection that has been adopted. Switzerland does not currently have a specific law to protect whistleblowers, but there are various other laws and regulations that ensure the protection of whistleblowers. It is expected that protection for whistleblowers will also become more important in other countries in the future.