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WHISTLEBLOWING – New Czech law from 1 August 2023

Company: Eversheds Sutherland, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.

1. Employers' obligations and reporting channels

Introduction an internal reporting system (IRS)

  • employers with 250 or more employees – by 1 August 2023
  • employers with up to 249 employees – by 15 December 2023
  • IRS must allow receipt of reports in verbal, written or personal form

Other obligations

  • to designate a competent person and ensure that only the competent person communicates with the whistle-blowers and evaluates the reports
  • publication of the prescribed information on the company webpage
  • to take appropriate action to remedy or prevent the unlawful conduct

Reporting channels:

  • IRS, External (Ministry of Justice), Publication (strict conditions) or Czech authorities selection up to the whistle-blower

2. Protected reports and persons

Any information about possible illegal conduct

  • that may be criminal offence
  • that may be administrative offence with a fine of at least CZK 100,000
  • that violates the Czech Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA)
  • that violates other legal acts or EU legislation in 14 specific areas

Reporting person/whistleblowers

  • individual who has obtained the information in the context of work (internal/external)
  • possibility to exclude the receipt of reports from external workers and restrict to only      own employees/volunteers/interns
  • prohibition of any retaliation

Other protected persons

  • persons who have assisted the whistleblower
  • an employee or colleague of the whistleblower
  • any legal entity in which the whistleblower has an interest or holds an elected office
  • the person for whom the employee works

Rights of protected persons

  • compensation for damages, reversal of the burden of proof in the event of a dispute

3. Non-protected reports (not subject to new law)

  • anonymous (name, surname and date of birth) – receipt of the employer’s discretion
  • knowingly false / untruthful
  • reports outside the material and personal scope of the new law (WPA)

4. Outsourcing / sharing of IRS

  • outsourcing of IRS possible
  • sharing of IRS only possible for employers with up to 249 employees
  • the employer's liability is not affected

Sharing of IRS within Group (EU Commission questionable additional restrictions)

  • requirement for a concurrent group and internal reporting system
  • possibility for the reporting person to opt out of the concern solution

5. Fines

  • employers – up to CZK 400,000 or CZK 1,000,000 (depending on the gravity of the offence)
  • competent persons – up to CZK 50,000 or CZK 100,000 (depending on the gravity)
  • knowingly false report by the whistleblower – up to CZK 50,000

For more information contact our partner Radek Matouš or counsel Petra Kratochvílová.

Tags: Law |

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