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New Act on the protection of whistleblowers

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Legal news
calendar 28 June 2021
globus Denmark

The Danish government has just passed the new Act on the protection of whistleblowers. The new Act implements the EU whistleblower directive and, among other things, introduces requirements for companies with 50 employees or more to establish a whistleblower scheme. The Act was changed several times as part of the legislative process. For example, the passed Act now introduces – with reservations - the possibility for larger group companies to establish joint whistleblower schemes.

Pursuant to the new Act, companies with 50 employees or more must establish a whistleblower scheme. Companies with more than 249 employees must establish a whistleblower scheme before the new Act enters into force, on 17 December 2021. Companies with 50 to 249 employees have a longer deadline and must establish whistleblower schemes by 17 December 2023.

The Act allows companies with 50 to 249 employees to establish a joint whistleblower scheme. Originally, it was therefore not possible for larger group companies to establish joint schemes. Subject to reservations, this has now been changed with the final Act.

As something new, the Act thereby introduces the possibility for group companies with more than 249 employees to establish a joint scheme across its affiliates. This means that a parent or group company can receive reports and handle the investigations as well as have contact with the whistleblower. There is however a risk that this can be changed back, so that it will no longer be possible for group companies to establish the more flexible joint schemes. This depends on dialogue and clarification with the European Commission.

We have previously described the draft bill here.

[Act on the protection of whistleblowers of 24 June 2021]

Pursuant to the new Act, companies with 50 employees or more must establish a whistleblower scheme. Companies with more than 249 employees must establish a whistleblower scheme before the new Act enters into force, on 17 December 2021. Companies with 50 to 249 employees have a longer deadline and must establish whistleblower schemes by 17 December 2023.

The Act allows companies with 50 to 249 employees to establish a joint whistleblower scheme. Originally, it was therefore not possible for larger group companies to establish joint schemes. Subject to reservations, this has now been changed with the final Act.

As something new, the Act thereby introduces the possibility for group companies with more than 249 employees to establish a joint scheme across its affiliates. This means that a parent or group company can receive reports and handle the investigations as well as have contact with the whistleblower. There is however a risk that this can be changed back, so that it will no longer be possible for group companies to establish the more flexible joint schemes. This depends on dialogue and clarification with the European Commission.

We have previously described the draft bill here.

[Act on the protection of whistleblowers of 24 June 2021]

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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Hessellund Klausen

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Groth Henriksen

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