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Finland: Government submits proposal for whistleblower protection act to Parliament

The Ministry of Justice announced, on 19 September 2022, that the Government had passed its proposal for an Act on the protection of persons reporting violations of European Union and national law ('the Whistleblower Protection Act') to transpose the Directive on the Protection of Persons who Report Breaches of Union Law (Directive (EU) 2019/1937) ('the Whistleblowing Directive') into national legislation to Parliament. In particular, in addition to implementing the minimum standards provided by the Whistleblowing Directive, the proposal outlines that protection under its provisions will also apply to whistleblowers who report anonymously but are later identified. Furthermore, the proposal sets out that while whistleblowers are generally expected to report through internal channels, they may also report via the centralised external reporting channel operated by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice if there is no internal reporting channel, they do not have access to it, or they have a justified reason to believe that internal reporting is not effective.

Notably, in terms of processing whistleblowing reports, the proposal provides that the right to access established by Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR') may be restricted if it is necessary and proportionate to ensure the accuracy of the report or to protect the identity of the whistleblower.

Finally, the proposal indicates that violation of its provisions may entail compensation and criminal penalties under the Criminal Code of Finland (39/1889).

You can read the press release here, the Government's motion here, the approved proposal here, and track the proposal's progress here, all only available in Finnish.

UPDATE (7 December 2022)

Parliament approves content of proposal for whistleblower protection act in second parliamentary reading

The Parliament approved, on 2 December 2022, the content of the proposal for the Whistleblower Protection Act in its second parliamentary reading, after the same had passed the first reading on 29 November 2022.

You can track the proposal's progress, only available in Finnish, here.

UPDATE (21 December 2022)

Parliament issues response on and approves proposal for whistleblower protection act

The Parliament issued, on 8 December 2022, its response, delivered on 9 December 2022, to the proposal for the Whistleblower Protection Act into national legislation, in which it approved the Act on the protection of persons reporting violations of European Union and national law.

You can read the Parliament's response, only available in Finnish, here.