Whistleblowing Directive—timeline

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Background and development
  • What constitutes a whistleblower?
  • What does the draft Whistleblower Directive propose?
  • Scope
  • Reporting mechanisms
  • Employer obligations
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • More...

This Timeline outlines the key developments related to the proposed Directive on the protection of persons reporting breaches of Union law (the draft Whistleblowing Directive).

Background and development

The European Commission reported on the need to provide an effective protection mechanism to give confidence to whistleblowers as early as February 2014. Following a number of scandals between 2015 and 2018—both in relation to financial services and non-financial services companies such as Diesalgate, Luxleaks, the Panama Papers and the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations. On 17 April 2018, the Commission adopted a package of measures to strengthen whistleblower protection as a means to unveil unlawful activities and help enforce EU law. The 2018 proposals were therefore introduced as an instrument to establish safe internal and external channels of reporting for whistleblowers within a variety of different organisations. Central to the proposals is the introduction of measures to ensure retaliatory or recriminatory action cannot be taken against whistleblowers who would otherwise be too fearful to speak out. Such retaliatory action has in the past seen persons who spoke out demoted, dismissed and even had criminal charges brought against them by their former employers.

The underlying purpose of the proposals to create safe reporting channels for whistleblowers is to enable the detection, investigation and sanction of abuses of Union law. When the draft

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