When is a whistleblower not a whistleblower?

What is a whistleblower?

The legal situation in Germany

A first step towards whistleblowing protection has already been taken when the German Bundestag passed the "Law on the Protection of Business Secrets" (GeschGehG) at the beginning of 2019. Thanks to the new EU whistleblowing directive, however, the legal regulations in Germany now also have to end To be adjusted in 2021.

According to the directive, it shouldNotbe able to rely on the individual's legal or contractual obligations, such as loyalty clauses in contracts or confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements, to:

§ exclude the possibility of a report,

§ to deny protection to whistleblowers or

§ impose sanctions on them for reporting information about violations or disclosure if disclosure of the information covered by these clauses and agreements is necessary to detect the violation.

If these conditions are met, whistleblowers should not be held civil, criminal or administrative, or in relation to their employment.

Legal regulations in Europe

Pioneers here are among others. the USA, France and England - in these countries there are already laws that protect whistleblowers and thus promote a culture in companies and organizations that should encourage people to uncover grievances.

An overview of the European laws can be found here.