Germany — The implementation of an EU directive on whistleblower protection is ongoing in Germany. A milestone in the legislative process has now been reached with the Bundestag's approval of a revised draft by the German government. Companies with more than 50 employees must set up an internal whistleblower system. The law also aims to provide better protection for people who report wrongdoing in companies.
Specifically, employees must be given the opportunity to submit reports on corruption, fraud, misconduct, and negligence in various forms. Companies must process these within a specified time. If whistleblowers are discriminated against in the company after making a report, they may be liable for damages. In parallel with the company's internal whistleblower systems, an external reporting office will be set up at the Federal Ministry of Justice, among others.
The law is expected to take effect from April 2023, with smaller companies with less than 250 employees being granted an extension until the end of 2023. Smaller companies can also jointly operate a reporting office.
NEXT STEP: The Bundesrat still has to approve the draft law.