Eurocadres on Trade Secrets vote: Closer, but still no cigar
The Legal Affairs committee (JURI) in the European Parliament has today, June 16th 2015, voted on the trade secrets directive proposal. From Eurocadres’ point of view, we can be happy with the amendments on worker’s mobility that are now explicitly mentioned in the text.
During the course of discussion regarding this directive, we have been particularly worried about employees falling into a grey area which hinders them to use their skills and work experience to enter into new jobs. As one example, it is now stated in the proposal that the directive shall not affect ‘the use of information, knowledge, experience and skills honestly acquired by employees in the normal course of their employment’.
–Closer, but still no cigar. Developments on texts on workers’ mobility are ok but whistle-blower protection is still lacking, says Martin Jefflén, President of Eurocadres, as a comment to the vote.
However, JURI has now accepted an amendment of extending the limitation period of when cases can be brought forward. The original text stated one to maximum two years which has now been changed to three years or subject to national rules. We therefore sincerely hope, that the definition of trade secrets and the exception of acquired skills of employees are clear enough, so that the limitation period will not affect their career developments.
Eurocadres is still concerned about the protection of whistle-blowers. [...] Current track records of whistle-blowers show, that there is a considerable lack of adequate protection for them and which causes many to face legal prosecution.
With the current text adopted by JURI, Eurocadres is still concerned about the protection of whistle-blowers. The proposal is said to not affect persons that disclose information for reasons of public interest, but the reasons of public interest are usually determined afterwards. Current track records of whistle-blowers show, that there is a considerable lack of adequate protection for them and which causes many to face legal prosecution.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental value that needs to be ensured. We are concerned that the amendments will not be enough in order to achieve that.