The Polish Law on Protection of Whistleblowers, after being signed by President Andrzej Duda on 19 June 2024, will enter into force on 25 September 2024. The legislation establishes a comprehensive framework for whistleblower rights in Poland. It applies to all companies with 50 or more employees.

The scope of the law mandates internal reporting channels for public and private sector organisations that employ 50 or more individuals as of 1st January or 1st July of any given year. Designated individuals or independent third parties must be appointed to manage reports proficiently and conduct impartial investigations. For effective whistleblowing, the internal reporting system must allow for written and oral reports, with the option for the whistleblower to request a face-to-face meeting. This means new obligations for controllers of data in relation to protection of personal data of whistleblowers. The companies should make sure that the controllers are well prepared to keep information about the whistleblowers and people mentioned in their reports confidential. The companies should  introduce statutory retention periods and provide solutions that prevent access to the personal data by unauthorized people. It is also essential to prepare and implement appropriate documentation according to statutory rules, in particular the procedure for internal reporting. The proper implementation of the procedure is very important. It requires that companies prepare the organizational structure of people responsible and carry out the necessary trainings and seminars among employees informing them about the protection of whistleblowers.

Unlawful activities and abuse of law may occur in any organisation, whether private or public, large or small. They can take many forms, corruption, fraud, businesses’ malpractice or negligence. If they are not addressed, they can result in serious harm to the public interest. People who work for an organisation or are in contact with it in their work-related activities are often the first to know about such occurrences and are, therefore, in a privileged position to inform those who can address the problem. Persons who acquired such information in the context of their work-related activities and report about it (‘whistleblowers’) feed national and EU enforcement system. This helps to prevent and address breaches of the law. Providing whistleblowers with strong protection against retaliation is essential to encourage reporting and strengthen the effectiveness of the law.

About the Author

Back to list

Read also