Resolution: Whistleblower protection not yet at the finishing line
Adopted by Eurocadres General Assembly 17 Oct. 2019, Lisbon
The transposition period for the Whistleblower Protection Directive starts in a few weeks. Eurocadres worked hard together with the platform WhistleblowerProtection.EU to improve the Directive and we were successful. The Directive now offers a reversal of the burden of proof, a broad and open personal scope including not only workers but volunteers, interns etc and – although internal reporting is encouraged – reports directly to authorities without an internal report first, will also grant protection.
There is an opportunity and a duty for trade unions to ensure the national transposition fills the gaps and rectifies the flaws of the directive. Eurocadres points to four major issues to fix during the two-year transposition period:
Fix trade union rights
The right to be represented by and consult with a trade union must be secured.
Fix the scope
Reporting on workers’ rights, discrimination and occupational health and safety must give right to protection. Or even better: cover breaches in all areas by a horizontal protection.
Make sure to include national legislation, not only EU law.
Fix the internal reporting
Reporting internally to a line manager, supervisor, or the HR-department must grant protection and not only using the dedicated internal reporting channel. This is not clear enough in the directive.
Fix the criminal-offence trap
National law determines if reporting persons are liable for “self-standing criminal offences”. It must be safe to use documents at the workplace for a report without risking criminal liability.
Eurocadres will work constructively with its members, the platform members of WhistleblowerProtection.EU, ETUC and other forces who want to secure improved protection for whistleblowers.