Finland: Government submits proposal for whistleblowing act to Parliament
The Ministry of Justice announced, on 19 September 2022, that the Government had passed its proposal 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).