Whistleblowing in Poland

Poland will implement whistleblowing law in spring 2024

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Helena Jezkova

4 min read

Poland has announced that the transposition of EU Directives – including the Directive on Whistleblower Protection will be a priority of the new coalition government, sworn into office in Poland in December 2023. A new draft law on protecting persons reporting breaches of law was published in January 2024. 

The obligation to establish an internal reporting channel applies to a legal entity for which at least 50 persons perform or provide work.

The threshold does not apply to a legal entity carrying out activities in the field of financial services, products and markets, as well as counteracting money laundering and terrorist financing, transport safety and environmental protection – these legal entities have the obligation to implement the internal reporting channel no matter the number of persons. 

Aspects of the internal reporting channel

The internal reporting procedure comes into force after 7 days from the date of its notification to the workers, in the manner adopted in a given legal entity. 

The internal reporting procedure specifies:

  1. an internal organizational unit or a person within the organizational structure of a legal entity or an external entity authorized by the legal entity to accept notifications;
  2. methods of submitting notifications, including correspondence address or e-mail address, hereinafter referred to as the "contact address" of the authorized unity or person;
  3. an impartial, internal organizational unit or a person within the organizational structure of the legal entity, authorized to take follow-up actions, including verification of the report and further communication with the reporting person, including requesting additional information and providing feedback to the reporting person; this role may be performed by an internal organizational unit or person referred to in point 1, if they ensure impartiality;
  4. the obligation to confirm receipt of the notification to the applicant within 7 days from the date of its receipt, unless the applicant did not provide a contact address to which the confirmation should be sent;
  5. the obligation to undertake, with due diligence, follow-up actions by the organizational unit or person referred to in point 3;
  6. the maximum deadline for providing the applicant with feedback, not exceeding 3 months from the confirmation of receipt of the notification or, in the event of failure to provide the confirmation referred to in point 4, 3 months from the expiry of 7 days from the date of submission of the notification, unless the applicant did not provide a contact address. to which feedback should be provided;
  7. understandable and easily accessible information on making external reports to the Ombudsman or public authorities and, where appropriate, to European Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies.

How does FaceUp system meet the requirements of the whistleblowing law in Poland?

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Categories of person who may report (in addition to those specified in the Directive)

  • Employees (also temporary employees and candidates), interns, trainees, volunteers
  • Workers employed on a basis other than an employment relationship, including civil law contracts
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Shareholders or partners
  • Members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of a legal entity
  • Persons working under the supervision and direction of contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, including on the basis of civil law contracts 
  • Public officers (e.g. policeman, board guards, etc.)
  • Soldiers
  • Also any ex-worker mentioned above 
  • Other persons, in cases where information concerning a breach has been acquired during any process or other pre-contractual negotiations (suppliers of goods and services, corporate bodies candidates etc.) 

Methods of reporting

Oral: by telephone or via other voice communication systems 

An oral report made via a recorded telephone line or other recorded voice communication system, with the consent of the reporting person, is documented in the form of:

  • a recording of the conversation, enabling it to be searched, or
  • a complete and accurate transcription of the conversation 

An oral report made via an unrecorded telephone line or other unrecorded voice communication system is documented in the form of a conversation report prepared by the authorized unit or person which reproduces the exact course of this conversation. The reporting person may check, correct and approve the transcript of the conversation or the conversation protocol by signing them.

An oral report may be made through a direct meeting organized within 14 days from the date of receipt of such request. In such a case, with the consent of the applicant, the application is documented in the form:

  • a recording of the conversation, enabling it to be searched, or
  • minutes of the meeting prepared by the entity or person which reproduces the exact course of this meeting.

Written: Written notification may be submitted in paper or electronic form.

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Sharing of whistleblowing channel

Private entities for which at least 50 but not more than 249 people work may, on the basis of a contract, establish common rules for accepting and verifying reports and conducting explanatory proceedings, provided that the activities performed are consistent with the Act. These entities are separate administrators of personal data obtained in connection with the receipt and verification of notifications. Administrators do not have access to each other's data obtained by a separate administrator.

Sharing of the whistleblowing channel or authorizing an external unit to handle notifications does not waive the liability of the legal entity to comply with the obligations set out in the Act, in particular maintaining confidentiality, providing feedback and taking follow-up actions.

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Helena Jezkova

4 min read
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