Update on implementation of the EU Whistleblower Directive 

On 16 December 2019, Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of EU law (the Whistleblower Directive) came into force. The purpose of the Whistleblower Directive is to require legal entities in the private and public sector to establish secure channels for reporting violations of certain provisions of EU law and to protect whistleblowers from dismissal and other forms of retaliation such as disciplinary measures.

In December 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice submitted a draft bill for a Whistleblower Protection Act (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz). In its scope, the draft bill goes beyond the requirements of the Whistleblower Directive as it does not only guarantee the protection of whistleblowers when reporting violations of EU law, but also when reporting violations of German law.

Although the coalition parties have not yet agreed on the draft bill it is expected that the law will be on the agenda at the beginning of the next legislative period, as the Whistleblower Directive must be implemented in national law by 17 December 2021 to avoid infringement proceedings. Please see our blog post on this here. [15 Jun 2021]