On 01.01.2015 a new Act (No. 307/2014 Coll) was adopted in Slovakia, which is aimed at reporting antisocial activities (i.e. a whistleblower protection act). The antisocial activities are defined in the Act; for instance as the machinations in public procurement, corrupt practises or as certain economic crimes and administrative offenses that threaten public interests.
Legal obligations stemming from the Act relate in particular to employers who employ at least 50 employees. They are obliged, within 6 months from the effective date of the Act, i.e until 30 June 2015 to adopt an internal system of filing petitions of its employees, who by means of a “petition” (which can be also anonymous!) warn the employer of antisocial activities of the colleague/s, of which they have learned during the performance of work duties. The employer is also obliged to designate a responsible person who may or may not be from among the employees and towards whom the employees may address their petitions. It is important that this person will fall exclusively under supervision of the statutory body of the employer. The employer must also ensure that it is possible to file petitions anytime during 24 hours a day; therefore it is assumed that the employer creates a special web service for this purpose or some other system that will ensure the function.
Any notifier is subject to protection, the scope of which is regulated by the Act. For example, the employer is entitled to realize certain employment acts towards the employee only with the consent of the Labour Inspection Authority! Any act without such consent would be considered invalid. Also, the employee who filed a petition and consequently the employer realised some legal act towards him/her, that employee may request the Labour Inspection Authority to suspend the effectiveness of such act. The effective date shall be postponed for 14 days and during that time the employee will be requested to submit an application for interim relief in the matter.
The employee who filed a petition, which was successful at the end in the meaning that a decision declaring guilt or a decision declaring the existence of administrative offense has become effective, may request the Ministry of Justice of the SR for a monetary remuneration.
One of the obligations of the employer (in the context of establishing the internal reporting system) is the adoption of internal rules, which shall include details on:
a) the filing of petitions,
b) the examining petitions and authorizations of the person responsible for examining petitions,
c) the confidentiality of the identity of the person who filed the petition,
d) the registration of petitions,
e) the notifying the person who filed the petition with the result of its examination,
f) the processing of personal data in the petition.
In the case of nonfulfillment of the said obligations the Labour Inspection Authority may impose a fine of up to € 20,000.
We are prepared to provide our full support, including our support in preparing the internal rules for your company as well as ensuring compliance with all obligations arising from the Act for Your company.
We are at your full disposal for any questions you may have to the above.