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New Act on the protection of whistleblowers on the way

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Legal news
calendar 20 october 2021
globus Sweden

Recently, the Swedish government decided to pass the draft bill implementing the EU whistleblower directive in Sweden. The new Act enters into force on 17 December 2021 and introduces a stronger protection for whistleblowers, as all companies with 50 employees or more will be required to establish internal whistleblower schemes within specified deadlines.

On 29 September 2021, the Swedish government passed the draft bill implementing the EU whistleblower directive in Sweden.

The new rules will allow whistleblowers to report about different matters. This includes serious matters of public interest and provides for a larger scope than under the EU rules.

What will change?

The new Act replaces the previous whistleblower rules. The most substantial changes include that:

  • By 17 July 2022 at the latest, all public companies with 50 or more employees and all private companies with 250 or more employees must establish an internal whistleblower scheme
  • By 17 December 2023, all private companies with 50 to 249 employees must establish an internal whistleblower scheme
  • External reporting channels will be set up at approximately 20 Swedish authorities to handle reports from whistleblowers regarding breaches of certain areas of EU law
  • Companies can choose to hire a third party to administrate the whistleblower scheme, fully or partly, but will remain responsible for compliance with the new requirements
  • The previous requirement that the reported misconduct must have been committed by a person in a leading position or by a person in a key position is removed

IUNO’s opinion

Companies should already now be in the process of gathering the necessary information to keep informed on what the new rules entail for them. For companies that already have established a whistleblower scheme, it is important to make sure that the scheme lives up to the new requirements. If the new rules are not complied with, it can trigger claims for compensation as well as damage to the company’s reputation.

IUNO recommends that companies have a clear action plan in place for implementing the new rules internally, irrespective of whether the implementation deadline is in 2022 or 2023. The reason is that it might be beneficial for companies to establish their internal scheme sooner rather than later, to ensure that the scheme is fully compliant with the new rules. It can also be an advantage to give employees access to report via the internal scheme, instead of the external schemes available from 2022.

Read more about how IUNO can help with administrating and ensuring compliance of your internal whistleblower scheme, here.

[Implementation of the Whistleblower Directive: The Labour Market Committee's report 2021/22:AU3]

On 29 September 2021, the Swedish government passed the draft bill implementing the EU whistleblower directive in Sweden.

The new rules will allow whistleblowers to report about different matters. This includes serious matters of public interest and provides for a larger scope than under the EU rules.

What will change?

The new Act replaces the previous whistleblower rules. The most substantial changes include that:

  • By 17 July 2022 at the latest, all public companies with 50 or more employees and all private companies with 250 or more employees must establish an internal whistleblower scheme
  • By 17 December 2023, all private companies with 50 to 249 employees must establish an internal whistleblower scheme
  • External reporting channels will be set up at approximately 20 Swedish authorities to handle reports from whistleblowers regarding breaches of certain areas of EU law
  • Companies can choose to hire a third party to administrate the whistleblower scheme, fully or partly, but will remain responsible for compliance with the new requirements
  • The previous requirement that the reported misconduct must have been committed by a person in a leading position or by a person in a key position is removed

IUNO’s opinion

Companies should already now be in the process of gathering the necessary information to keep informed on what the new rules entail for them. For companies that already have established a whistleblower scheme, it is important to make sure that the scheme lives up to the new requirements. If the new rules are not complied with, it can trigger claims for compensation as well as damage to the company’s reputation.

IUNO recommends that companies have a clear action plan in place for implementing the new rules internally, irrespective of whether the implementation deadline is in 2022 or 2023. The reason is that it might be beneficial for companies to establish their internal scheme sooner rather than later, to ensure that the scheme is fully compliant with the new rules. It can also be an advantage to give employees access to report via the internal scheme, instead of the external schemes available from 2022.

Read more about how IUNO can help with administrating and ensuring compliance of your internal whistleblower scheme, here.

[Implementation of the Whistleblower Directive: The Labour Market Committee's report 2021/22:AU3]

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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