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Here it is - The Wistleblower protection act has been passed

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On 1 June 2023, the Senate debated the Government’s Whistleblower Protection Bill, on which it ultimately passed no resolution. The 30-day deadline for the Senate’s consideration of the bill has thus expired, and therefore the bill has been passed and will now go to the President for his signature.

The effective date of the Whistleblower Protection Act is the first day of the second calendar month following the date of its promulgation. Assuming it is promulgated during June, it will take effect on 1 August 2023. Obliged entities therefore do not have much time left to comply with their obligations under this law.

The Whistleblower Protection Act allows for the reporting of possible violations (i.e., criminal offences, more serious offences, violations of the Whistleblower Protection Act and violations of other legislation or EU regulations in specific areas) and provides protection to the whistleblower, who may be, for example, an employee, job applicant, business partner or member of a legal entity’s body, from potential retaliation (e.g. termination of employment, reduction in pay, dismissal or withdrawal from a contract) by obliged entities, i.e. employers with 50 or more employees, selected public authorities and public procurers.

The obligations that an obliged entity must now fulfil include in particular the following:

  • introduction of an internal notification system – obliged entities employing 250 or more employees must do so no later than when the Act comes into force, i.e. by 1 August 2023, and obliged entities with 50 to 249 employees no later than 15 December 2023;
  • designating a competent person to be in charge of the notification agenda – in particular to receive and assess the validity of the notification, to propose measures to remedy or prevent the illegal situation, to act impartially, to maintain confidentiality;
  • ensuring that the whistleblower can submit a notification through an internal notification system in writing, orally or, upon request, in person;
  • publication of specified information in a manner allowing remote access – in particular information on the means of notification, identification of the competent person with his/her telephone number and e-mail or other address for delivery;
  • advising the person concerned of their rights and obligations under the Whistleblower Protection Act and make a record of this.

If the obliged entity fails to fulfil its obligations under the Whistleblower Protection Act, it runs the risk of a fine of up to CZK 1,000,000. 

If you are interested, we will be happy to consult with you on the correct setup of the notification system, and we will also be happy to assist you in securing such a system, including meeting all legal obligations and ensuring that the appropriate person is in place.

Author: Veronika Odrobinová, Martina Šumavská