Whistle-blowers: draft law transposing EU Directive in Luxembourg
On the 10th January 2022, Luxembourg’s government introduced a draft law n° 7945 (the “Draft law”) transposing the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law (hereinafter the “Directive”).
The Draft law faithfully transcribes the content of the Directive, with the exception of the scope of protection by extending the protection of whistle-blowers to the reporting of all violation of directly applicable provisions of national or European law instead of the limited areas of European law listed in the Directive.
The Draft law targets the protection against all forms of retaliation for reporting violations, defined as "acts or omissions which: (a) are unlawful; or (b) are contrary to the object or purpose of directly applicable provisions of national or European law, provided that the consequence is a disturbance of the public interest".
The law applies to whistle-blowers working in the private or public sector who have obtained information about violations in a professional context: e.g. shareholders and members of the board of directors, public officials, volunteers, trainees, whistle-blowers whose employment relationship has not yet started, third parties who are connected to the whistle-blowers.
It is clear that the intention of the Government is to propose a very broad definition and protection of whistle-blowers in Luxembourg.
It should be noted that the provisions of the Directive are in addition to EU initiatives already transposed into national legislation and which offer similar guarantees for whistle-blowers. The commentary on the Draft law particularly refers to the area of financial services.
- Other points to be noted
External reporting will be possible to a list of competent authorities (CSSF, CAA, CNPD, ITM, etc);
- these competent authorities will have power to issue administrative fine up to EUR 250,000 to those who obstruct or attempt to obstruct reporting and in other specific cases;
- creation of a “whistleblowing office” ("office des signalements"), in order to inform and guide the
potential whistle-blower in his or her actions;
- timeline: private sector legal entities between 50 and 249 employees have until 17 December 2023 to set up internal channels. For entities with 250 or more employees, this obligation will be immediate.
The Draft law still has to be commented and potentially amended before being submitted to parliamentary vote.
We will monitor the legislative process and share with you the important elements for your business.