The Whistleblower Protection Directive (EU Dir. 2019/1937) has been transposed into Maltese law under the “Protection of the Whistleblower Act (CAP527)” on 17 December 2021, meaning that all organisations registered in Malta and employing more than 50 workers are now obliged to comply with the law requirements.
What is the Protection of the Whistleblower Act?
The Protection of the Whistleblower Act establishes rules and procedures to protect ‘whistleblowers’, these being individuals who report information they acquired in a work-related context on breaches of EU law in key policy areas. Breaches falling within the scope of the Act, and consequently of the EU Whistleblower Directive, may concern:
- The EU’s financial interest;
- Internal market, EU competition and national corporate tax rules;
- Privacy and personal data;
- Information security;
- Food and feed safety;
- Consumer protection;
- Transport and product safety;
- Financial services;
- Fraudulent activity;
- Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; and
- Corruption and bribery.
The scope of the Act is to protect whistleblowers from harm or retaliation for reporting EU breaches. The Act covers a wide range of reporting persons working in the private and public sectors. Potential reporting persons include:
- employees and shareholders;
- trainees and job applicants;
- management and supervisory bodies; and/or
- all other persons who are connected to whistleblowers.
Protection extends also to individuals who, whilst not being ‘workers’ within the organization, can play a key role in exposing breaches of Union law and may find themselves in a position of economic vulnerability of their work-related activities. Such individuals include suppliers, distributors, freelancers, contractors, and subcontractors.
How can BDO assist you?
We start by helping clients understand their whistleblower protection compliance obligations,
before creating and executing a remediation plan that meets all the organisation’s requirements.
While every plan is specifically customized to meet each of our client’s unique context, our main services are aligned to support the EU Whistleblower Protection requirements, these include the following services:
- Development of internal reporting whistleblowing channels;
- Development of a tailored risk management framework;
- Outsourcing of the whistleblower protection investigating unit; and
- Provision of whistleblower protection training.
In the course of developing a tailored organizational framework, BDO will hold discussions with the top management to ensure the internal mechanisms in place reflect the internal processes, values and set up.