The protection of whistleblowers reinforced

After the decision of the Constitutional Council of March 17, 2022 (n° 2022-839 DC), the law n° 2022-401 of March 21, 2022 aiming to improve the protection of whistleblowers (1), transposing the European directive (n° 2019/1937) of October 23, 2019, was published in the Official Journal of today (JO 68). 

The law will come into force in mid-September 2022.

In particular, the law expands the notion of whistleblower, which now concerns any person denouncing in good faith and without direct financial compensation a crime, an offence, a prejudice to the general interest, or a violation of a rule of international law. 

In addition, the law extends the beneficiaries of the protection to "facilitators", who are individuals or legal entities under private law, non-profit making, who help the whistleblower to make their report.

In addition, the law simplifies the channels for reporting whistleblowing to allow the whistleblower to choose between internal and external reporting, thus the whistleblower will be able to report directly to the public.

Finally, the law extends the protection measures granted to whistleblowers, notably: 
  • The law increases the confidentiality guarantees surrounding whistleblowing and completes the list of prohibited reprisals, e.g. intimidation, damage to reputation, disciplinary sanction, discrimination, etc.
  • The law extends the civil non-liability of whistleblowers for damages caused by reporting in good faith as well as the criminal non-liability for breaches of confidentiality that could have been committed in the collection of legally know facts.