As a consequence of several recent discussions about whistleblowing and its insufficient regulation in the Czech Republic, the Czech Government approved the proposed adoption of a new act to protect whistleblowers on 13 June 2012. The draft law should be finalised by September 2012. If approved by the Czech Parliament, it may become effective in 2013 at the earliest.

As a consequence of several recent discussions about whistleblowing and its insufficient regulation in the Czech Republic, the Czech Government approved the proposed adoption of a new act to protect whistleblowers on 13 June 2012. The draft law should be finalised by September 2012. If approved by the Czech Parliament, it may become effective in 2013 at the earliest.

Despite its recent contribution to the investigation of some bribery cases, Czech law currently does not contain any specific protection for whistleblowing. Following a thorough research and comparison with other legal systems, the Czech Governmental Office has now proposed several legislative approaches to this legal instrument, one of which has been confirmed recently by the Czech Government.

Whistleblowing should cover the conduct of employees who report any alleged crimes and significantly contribute to the determination of the perpetrator and/or the investigation of such crime.

Whistleblowers shall be granted a privileged position in criminal proceedings, including the enhanced possibility to retain their anonymity or right to inspect a criminal file. It is also contemplated that the Labour Code be amended in order to protect whistleblowers from any discrimination. Employees who report crime at their workplace shall be protected from the termination of their employment by the employer. In cases where such a measure would be proportionate, whistleblowers could even be granted time-off with full salary compensation paid by the state.

The proposed regulation will be subject to further political discussions. Besides its positive aspects, it is claimed that it may be easily misused by employees. However, the new legal regulation proposes to also set down sanctions that may be imposed against those who report a false announcement.

It is clear that the Czech Republic has made a significant step forward to implement protection for whistleblowers. How the final regulation will look however is unclear, and will remain so for at least the next few months.