It’s official: Romania has a new Whistleblowing Bill

After prolonged debates and several drafts issued as of April 2021, the new whistleblowing bill was published in the Romanian Official Gazette on the 19th of December 2022. Such whistleblowing bill, now identified as Law. No. 316/ 2022 on the protection of public interest whistleblowers (hereinafter the “Whistleblowing Bill”), transposes the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law and will enter into force on the 22nd of December 2022.

While acknowledging the importance and impact of the Whistleblowing Bill, MPPL has highlighted below some of the main challenges companies will face as of the 22nd of December:

  • The Whistleblowing Bill regulates the right to divulge current or potential breaches of the law happening in public institutions and private companies, while ensuring protection against retaliation measures of all kind;
  • Whistleblowers entitled to legal protection include current or former workers, as well as candidates considered in the recruitment process, shareholders, independent professionals and subcontractors, customers or suppliers, as well as their employees;
  • New obligations are imposed on private companies employing 50 employees or more (hereinafter “Target Companies”), while such include:

    • the obligation to implement appropriate reporting channels, allowing for the registration of whistleblowing reports under full confidentiality
    • the obligation to implement whistleblowing policies 
    • the obligation to internally appoint an impartial and independent whistleblowing responsible or contract a specialized service provider for properly registering and investigating whistleblowing reports and
    • the obligation to organize and keep whistleblowing registers, while ensuring appropriate statistics on existing whistleblowing reports
  • Lacking reporting channels or inappropriate management thereof can lead to public whistleblowing reports, with substantial reputational damages;
  • The Whistleblowing Bill directly impacts HR departments and employment relations, allowing for union and/ or press participation in disciplinary investigations initiated after a whistleblowing report;
  • Sanctions for non-compliance with whistleblowing related obligations include fines and the potential publishing of court decisions that annul retaliation measures against whistleblowers

MPPL has carefully developed a unique compliance tool, designed to ensure whistleblowing compliance and guidance for private companies, irrespective of employee number and pertaining industry. Our aim is to assist our clients based on a full-service principle, while offering:

  • A unique reporting platform, fully digitalized and user friendly, specifically designed to avoid human errors in registering and monitoring whistleblowing reports
  • Tailor-made compliance & whistleblowing guidelines
  • High level guidance in the management of whistleblowing reports, through our experienced anti-fraud and compliance professionals
  • Full support for HR & compliance departments, with a focus on safeguarding employee relations and maintaining an ethical work environment
  • Whistleblowing trainings, destined for company management, employees and appointed whistleblowing representatives 

For a more in-depth overview on whistleblowing compliance and our services, please reach out to our appointed professionals:

Mrs Ioana Marian
Mr Calin Man