Our Position

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.