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22.02.2023 | KPMG Law Insights

Whistleblower Protection Act delayed – Bundesrat refuses to give its approval

The enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Act continues to be delayed. With the law, Germany would have fulfilled its obligation to implement EU Directive 2019/1937. The so-called Whistleblower Directive aims to protect employees who disclose violations of EU law. The deadline for implementation was already December 17, 2021.

After lengthy negotiations, the Bundestag finally passed the Act for Better Protection of Whistleblowers (Whistleblower Protection Act) about a year later, on December 16, 2022. Among other things, the draft law stipulates that companies and organizations with at least 50 employees must set up whistleblower protection systems. According to the bill, employees who provide information about violations of the law should be protected from reprisals.

On February 10, 2023, the Federal Council should have given its approval. But the states led by the CDU/CSU have stopped the law for the time being. Now it goes to the mediation committee.
The point of contention is that the draft law goes far beyond the requirements of the EU directive. In the third reading in the Bundestag in December, the law had undergone some further tightening, such as the obligation to allow anonymous reporting.

Most EU countries have now fulfilled their obligation to implement the directive. The European Commission has now taken the eight remaining states, which include Germany, to the European Court of Justice. This will also increase the pressure on German politicians to reach an agreement in the mediation committee as soon as possible.

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Dr. Bernd Federmann

Partner
Stuttgart Site Manager
Head of Compliance & Corporate Criminal Law

Theodor-Heuss-Straße 5
70174 Stuttgart

tel: 0711 781923418
bfedermann@kpmg-law.com

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