The transposition of the Whistleblowing Directive in the Member States of the European Union has been a long and complicated process but its implementation is now a reality. Above all, the Whistleblowing Directive promises to change the way companies treat whistleblowers.

Chronology of the Whistleblowing Directive in Spain

The Whistleblowing Directive, adopted in 2019, came into force on December 17, 2021. Spain, however, carried out the transposition of the directive two years later, specifically on February 20, 2023, with the publication of the Law for the Protection of Whistleblowers or more commonly referred to as whistleblower channel law.

Whistleblowing Directive: what companies need to know

Essential aspects of the law

The law, whose full title is Law 2/2023, Regulating the Protection of Persons Reporting Regulatory Violations and Fighting Corruption has several new features.

Among these new developments is the creation of an Independent Whistleblower Protection Authority. However negotiations with labor representatives and a sanctioning regime and a specific sanctioning regime. Also specific penalty regime for those who obstruct the whistleblower channel or retaliate against whistleblowers.

Penalties can reach up to 1 million euros for entities and 300,000 euros for individuals.

Obligations for companies

For the companies the role of the compliance officer takes on a new dimension. Generally its given responsibility in the design and maintenance of compliance programs that integrate measures such as the whistleblower channel.

It is essential that organizations, particularly those with more than 50 employees. Therefore implement procedures in accordance with these standard regulations within the established deadlines, which vary according to size and sector of activity.

The implementation of the channel is mandatory for municipalities, political parties and foundations among others.

Conclusion

The transposition of the Whistleblowing Directive in Spain has entailed a profound revision of the obligations and protections relating to whistleblowers in the business environment. However, companies must take note and act promptly to ensure compliance, with the role of the compliance and related programs.

EU DIRECTIVE. Ley del Canal de Denuncias
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