Did you know that…
The new General Whistleblower Protection Regime predicts that reports will be submitted through internal or external whistleblowing channels, or made public?
The creation of internal reporting channels is mandatory for private and public sector entities employing 50 or more employees and also, regardless of the number of employees, for legal persons operating in the fields of financial services, products and markets, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. Local authorities which, despite employing 50 or more workers, have less than 10,000 inhabitants are excluded from this obligation.
The establishment of internal channels will have to guarantee the submission and secure follow-up of reports, to ensure their completeness, integrity and preservation, to ensure the confidentiality of the identity or anonymity of the whistleblower and the confidentiality of the identity of third parties mentioned in the report, and to prevent access to unauthorised persons.
If internal reporting channels are available, the whistleblower must choose them to make the report. Along with this, the same may resort to external channels with the competent authorities as a supplementary means, when one of the following conditions is met:
– There is no internal denunciation channel;
– The internal whistleblowing channel only admits the presentation of complaints by employees, not being the whistleblower;
– It has reasonable grounds to believe that the breach cannot be effectively known or resolved internally or that there is a risk of retaliation;
– Although the whistleblower has initially lodged a report internally, the measures envisaged or adopted following the report are not communicated in the legally required terms; or
– The reported infraction constitutes a crime or administrative offence punishable by a fine of over €50,000.
This limits the possibility for whistleblowers to make their reports directly to the authorities through external channels.
DLA Piper Portugal Team
Dr. Daniel Reis
Dr.ª Marta Albuquerque Coelho
Drª Mariana Martins Fernandes