Luxembourg: Government publishes draft law to transpose EU Whistleblowing Directive
The Government of Luxembourg announced, on 12 January 2022, that the Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson, had presented Draft Law 7945 Transposing the Directive on the Protection of Persons who Report Breaches of Union Law (Directive (EU) 2019/1937) ('the Whistleblowing Directive') into Belgian law. In particular, the draft law extends the scope of application of the Whistleblowing Directive beyond reports of violations of EU law to include Belgian national law, and further aims to reduce the present legal uncertainty for whistleblowers by providing specific rights and obligations. Furthermore, the draft law establishes an office for whistleblowing notifications, principally to inform potential whistleblowers of, and guide them through the relevant procedures.
Regarding sanctions, the draft law states, among other things, that whistleblowers, who have knowingly notified or publicly disclosed false informationm may be punished by imprisonment for a period of between three days or three months, and a fine of between €1,500 to €50,000. Moreover, the draft law notes that specified competent authorities may impose an administrative fine of between €1,500 to €250,000 on a private entity who:
- impedes or intends to impede a whistleblower notification;
- refuses to provide the information required under Article 18(2) or provides incomplete or false information;
- breaches the right to privacy of the whistleblower; or
- refuses to rectify any identified violation.
Finally, Article 28 of the draft law states that it will enter into force on the fourth day following its publication in the Official Gazette; however, private entities with between 50-249 employees are provided a two-year transition period and thus should implement their internal whistleblowing scheme by 17 December 2023. Nevertheless, the recital on Article 28 of the draft law cites that approximately 150 private entities in Luxembourg have over 250 employees, and that they will not have a transition period to comply with the provisions of the draft law and the Whistleblowing Directive.