9 November 2021

Each employer must have internal whistleblowing procedures and a whistleblowing reporting officer

There is always something to keep us busy especially when it comes to new laws impacting the work place. One such law which we need to get ready for is the legislation dealing with Whistleblowing. The EU Directive is to be transposed into Maltese law this month, by no later than the 17th December 2021. Thus far the primary legislation in Malta concerning whistleblowing is the Protection of the Whistleblower Act, Chapter 527 of the Laws of Malta.

The law defines a whistleblower and also stipulates the obligations of employers. What is pertinent to note is that the definition under the new Directive is different to that under the Act. This in practice means that more employers will be impacted once this Directive is transposed into Maltese law.

To be precise the Directive refers to legal entitiesrather than employers and provides that the following legal entities must have internal reporting and follow-up obligations:

  1. all public sector legal entities (irrespective of sector); and
  2. all private legal entities operating in the following sectors: financial services, products and markets and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, transport safety and protection of the environment;
  3. private legal entities with more than 50 workers if such entities do not operate in the above listed sectors.

Entities which employ between 50 and 249 workers may share resources in relation to receipt of reports and any investigation to be carried out.

So what do we do ? A company is required to have procedures in place for receiving and processing reports of “improper practices” made by those protected under the law. Each employer (including the public administration) must have internal whistleblowing procedures and a whistleblowing reporting officer i.e. a person to whom a protected disclosure may be made internally within the employer. We are here to help so feel free to reach out if you need assistance with drafting a policy and procedures!