April 15, 2022
Portugal has transposed the European Union Whistleblower Protection Directive (No. 2019/1937) into the Whistleblower Protection Law (No. 93/2021) and this will affect many businesses in the country. Below are the 6 most important things about the law and the solution for your company to become compliant.
1. What is the Whistleblowing Law all about and what is the main purpose of it?
Whistleblowing is about protecting individuals who report or disclose a violation based on information obtained in the course of professional activity, regardless of the nature of that activity and the industry in which it is carried out. Its main objective is to protect whistleblowers and, as a result, prevent and/or reduce illegalities in public or private companies, including the State.
2. What are the practical consequences of the law for companies?
The immediate practical consequence is the obligation to establish an internal and confidential whistleblowing channel so that employees can report irregularities with security, integrity, confidentiality, anonymity and protected from retaliation.
3. Is my company affected by the whistleblowing law?
If your company employs 50 or more workers, yes. The law requires that legal entities, the State and legal persons under public law immediately establish these internal whistleblowing channel that allows for the secure filing and follow-up of complaints.
4. What are the risks of not establishing a whistleblowing channel?
Your company could face fines of up to €125,000. The Whistleblower Protection Act establishes as an administrative offence not only the lack of a whistleblower channel, but also the existence of a channel that is inefficient, without guarantees of completeness, integrity or preservation of reports or of confidentiality of the identity or anonymity of the whistleblowers.
5. When does the law come into effect in Portugal?
The law comes into force on June 18, 2022 and companies with 50 or more employees need to have an internal reporting channel and policy before then.
6. Where can I find information about how I get a Whistleblowing Channel for my company?
At Visslan, you can find a complete platform with all the tools your company needs to implement your internal whistleblowing channel and comply with the Portuguese Whistleblower Protection Law in a simple and cost effective way.