In accordance with Act No. 171/2023 Sb., on the protection of whistleblowers (hereinafter referred to as the “Whistleblower Protection Act”), the ELI ERIC (hereinafter referred to as the “Employer”) provides protection to whistleblowers working at Employer’s premises.
The text below is only a short summary. The Employer recommends to all whistleblowers to familiarize themselves with the Whistleblower Protection Act, which regulates rights and duties of the whistleblowers, employers, competent persons (and other persons) including whistleblowing procedures.
What illegal conduct can be reported?
A whistleblower may provide information about possible illegal conduct that has occurred or is about to occur at Employer’s premises, and which
- has the elements of a criminal offence
- is an offence for which a fine of 100,000 CZK or more may be imposed, or
- violates the Wistleblower Protection Act, another legal regulation of the Czech Republic or a regulation of the European Union in the areas of public procurement, personal data protection, privacy and security of electronic communication networks and information systems and in other areas under Sec. 2 1) (d) of the Wistleblower Protection Act.
What notifications are excluded?
In particular, knowingly false notifications, i.e. notifications of information that the wistleblower had no reasonable grounds to believe was true, are excluded from the protection. Notifications containing classified information or information which when reported could immediately endanger an essential security interest of the Czech Republic are also excluded from the protection.
Who is a whistleblower?
A natural person who performs or performed work or other similar activities for the Employer, even indirectly (e.g. employee, student, intern,) may become a whisteblower.
Persons who do not perform a work or other similar activity under Section 2 paragraph 3 letter a), b), h) or i) of the Whistleblower Protection Act are hereby in accordance with Section 9 paragraph 2 letter a) of the Whistleblower Protection Act excluded from the possibility of becoming a whistleblower, i.e. the Employer shall not accept notifications from such persons.
How can a notification be made?
A notification can be filed:
- Through the Employer’s internal notification system, either in writing, or by telephone or in person by prior arrangement with the competent person (Sec. 9 of the Whistleblower Protection Act).
The competent person, who receives and handles notifications, is:
Jiří Kubricht, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +420727874447
- A notification must contain the name, surname and date of birth, or other information from which the identity of the whistleblower can be inferred, unless the identity of the whistleblower is demonstrably known to the competent person.
- Through the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic („the Ministry“), which is also responsible for receiving and assessing notifications under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Information on how notifications are received is available on the website of the Ministry (https://www.mvcr.cz/).
When will a notification be processed?
A whistleblower who has submitted a notification through the Employer’s internal notification system must receive
- a confirmation that the notification was received within 7 calendar days, and
- information on how the notification has been assessed no later than 30 days after receipt of the notification. In complex cases, the deadline for investigation can be extended twice by 30 days (to a total of 90 days).
How is the whistleblower’s person protected?
In connection with the submission of a notification, the Employer ensures:
Protection of the identity of the whistleblower
Only the competent person has access to notifications; information about the identity of the whistleblower can only be disclosed with the written consent of the whistleblower or if another legal provision so provides.
Protecting a whistleblower from retaliation
In connection with a reasonably made notification (filed either through the Employer’s internal reporting system or through the Ministry), a whistleblower or other protected person must not be subjected to retaliation, i.e. such conduct in relation to the whistleblower’s work or other similar activity that could cause harm to the whistleblower or other protected person.
The terms and conditions of whistleblower protection are governed by the Whistleblower Protection Act that implements the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law.