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Whistleblowing – New Czech Law From 1 August 2023

Whistleblowing – New Czech Law From 1 August 2023

Czech Republic
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Summary of new Czech whistleblowing legislation 

1. Employers' obligations and reporting channels

Introduction an internal reporting system (IRS)
• employers with 250 or more employees – by 1 August 2023
• employers with up to 249 employees – by 15 December 2023
• IRS must allow receipt of reports in verbal, written or personal form

Other obligations
• to designate a competent person and ensure that only the competent person communicates with the whistle-blowers and evaluates the reports
• publication of the prescribed information on the company webpage
• to take appropriate action to remedy or prevent the unlawful conduct

Reporting channels:
• IRS, External (Ministry of Justice), Publication (strict conditions) or Czech authorities
• selection up to the whistle-blower

2. Protected reports and persons

Any information about possible illegal conduct
• that may be criminal offence
• that may be administrative offence with a fine of at least CZK 100,000
• that violates the Czech Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA)
• that violates other legal acts or EU legislation in 14 specific areas

Reporting person/whistleblowers
• individual who has obtained the information in the context of work (internal/external)
• possibility to exclude the receipt of reports from external workers and restrict to only own employees/volunteers/interns
• prohibition of any retaliation

Other protected persons
• persons who have assisted the whistleblower
• an employee or colleague of the whistleblower
• any legal entity in which the whistleblower has an interest or holds an elected office
• the person for whom the employee works

Rights of protected persons
• compensation for damages, reversal of the burden of proof in the event of a dispute

3. Non-protected reports (not subject to new law)
• anonymous (name, surname and date of birth) – receipt of the employer’s discretion
• knowingly false / untruthful
• reports outside the material and personal scope of the new law (WPA)

4. Outsourcing / sharing of IRS
• outsourcing of IRS possible
• sharing of IRS only possible for employers with up to 249 employees
• the employer's liability is not affected

Sharing of IRS within Group (EU Commission questionable additional restrictions)
• requirement for a concurrent group and internal reporting system
• possibility for the reporting person to opt out of the concern solution

5. Fines
• employers – up to CZK 400,000 or CZK 1,000,000 (depending on the gravity of the offence)
• competent persons – up to CZK 50,000 or CZK 100,000 (depending on the gravity)
• knowingly false report by the whistleblower – up to CZK 50,000

By Radek Matous, Partner, Petra Kratochvilova, Counsel, Eversheds Sutherland

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

PRK Partners has been repeatedly voted among the most socially responsible firms in the category of small and mid-sized firms and was awarded the bronze certificate at the annual TOP Responsible Firm of the Year Awards.

Our work is not only “business”: we have participated on a longstanding basis in a wide variety of pro bono projects and supported our partners from the non-profit sector (Kaplicky Centre Endowment Fund, Tereza Maxová Foundation, Czech Donors Forum, etc.).

Firm's website: www.prkpartners.com

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