Institutions must create possibility to inform of internal offenses

Computer keyboard,
Computer keyboard, Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Incoming legislation will obligate institutions and companies with more than 50 employees to make it possible for their employees to report offenses in the company without risking job loss.

On Thursday, Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) will present a draft to the government, according to which the authorities and companies with more than 50 employees must create an internal notification channel for reporting violations. In doing so, it must be possible to make sure the informer does not risk losing their job or being treated unequally as a result.

The possibility of notification must be confidential. This can be, for example, a special email, a phone number or a mailbox. The authority must have an employee who receives the notifications, passes them on and gives feedback to the informer.

Violations to be reported mainly concern legal offenses or lack of action but also unlawful acts that do not formally qualify as offenses.

If internal reporting doesn't work, it must be possible to report the breach externally to the bodies that normally deal with certain offenses. For example, fire safety violations must be reported to the Rescue Board. Protection is also available if offenses are reported to the public, while under more limited conditions.

Internal secure channels must be established by all legal entities with more than 50 employees, local government agencies or agencies managed by public authorities and all state agencies. It is the responsibility of public authorities to monitor infringements or prosecute offenses in a certain area to set up an external information channel.

The law will enter into force on June 1, 2022. Legal entities with 50-249 employees will have a longer time to create an internal communication channel and must establish a communication channel by December 17, 2023.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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