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Sweden transposes the EU Whistleblowing Directive into national law

Sweden transposes the EU Whistleblowing Directive into national law.

On 29 September 2021, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) voted in favour of the Government’s proposal for a new law that protects people who report misconduct in the workplace. This means that Sweden has now transposed the EU Whistleblowing Directive, on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, into Swedish law.

The whistleblower protection must be strengthened

The main purpose of the new bill is to make it easier, safer, and more secure for people to speak-up.

Based on the requirements of the EU Whistleblowing Directive, the new Swedish law aims to better protect those who report wrongdoing in the workplace. The law requires companies with at least 50 employees to set up internal reporting channels.

The goal is to make it clearer about how to proceed with whistleblowing and how to handle reports, as well as keeping the identity of the whistleblower anonymous.

The national law in Sweden covers more than the minimum requirements of the EU Whistleblowing Directive

There are two clear areas where the new Swedish legislation goes beyond the minimum requirements of the EU Directive.

  1. The protection of whistleblowers includes breaches where there is a ‘general interest’ in the information being disclosed, whereas the EU Directive focuses only on breaches of Union law.
  2. Municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants are also required to implement internal reporting channels. The EU Directive stipulates over 10,000.

Changes to current legislation

The new law replaces the previous law (2016: 749) on special protection against reprisals of employees who sound the alarm about serious misconduct. But it does not restrict the protection that applies under other laws and regulations (for example, the Freedom of Expression Act). Certain amendments are also made to the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (Offentlighets- och sekretesslagen) for the secrecy to apply both in court and in the follow-up of reports of misconduct.

Implementation deadlines

As per the EU Directive, the new rules come into force on 17 December 2021. But companies in Sweden, with over 250 employees, have until 17 July 2022 to implement internal reporting channels. The deadline for organisations with between 50 – 249 employees is 17 December 2023.

Got questions?

Would you like to know about the new law and how it will impact your company? Book a call with Annelie Demred, VP Strategy & Growth here.

Image credit: Melker Dahlstrand/Sveriges riksdag

Would you like to learn more about a whistleblowing service and safe internal reporting channels? Read more about the EU Whistleblowing Directive here.

Are you looking for a safe and secure whistleblowing solution? Read more here.

Would you like to discuss a whistleblowing system for your organisation?
Please contact us or book a free demo!

If you have any thoughts about this article or would like to know more about Whistlelink, we’d love to hear from you.

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