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Poland: Whistleblowing bill progresses to Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers

The Minister of Family and Social Policy, Marlena Maląg, issued, on 10 January 2023, a letter to the Secretary of the Committee for European Affairs Chancellery of the Prime Minister regarding the draft act on the protection of persons who report violations of the law. In particular, the letter makes reference to the comments made on the bill and provides information on how they have been taken into account, along with the final text of the bill.

In this regard, OneTrust DataGuidance Research confirmed with Marcin Chołuj, Associate at Radca Prawny, that, on 13 December 2022, another version of the bill was introduced, which reflects the proposals and comments raised both by the Committee for European Affairs and during the course of cross-ministerial consultations, since the previous version released on 22 July 2022. In this regard, Choluj stated that the updated version brought an unexpected shift in the allocation of public tasks entrusting the National Labour Inspectorate with the tasks of:

  • providing independent information and advice, assistance, and legal aid in legal proceedings ('measures of support' under Article 20 of the Directive on the Protection of Persons who Report Breaches of Union Law (Directive (EU) 2019/1937) ('the Whistleblowing Directive'); and
  • receiving external reports for which the reporter cannot determine the competent authority.

Notably, Choluj highlighted that these roles were ones that originally rested with the Commissioner for Human Rights. Accordingly, Choluj noted that members of the Committee for European Affairs were then called to confirm the final text of the bill within the tight deadline ending on 22 December 2022, prompting fresh comments and proposals, including that of the Chief Labour Inspector, who criticised the idea of the National Labour Inspectorate taking over the tasks from the Commissioner for Human Rights. Moreover, Choluj stated that, following the version introduced on 13 December 2022, there have been minor amendments as the members of the Committee for European Affairs made their closing remarks on the bill, which brought about the most recent version of the bill, dated 5 January 2023. Lastly, Choluj confirmed that the bill was referred to the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers.

You can read the final version of the bill here and the letter here and track the progress of the bill here, all only available in Polish.