Whistleblowers protection already in place
Cyprus had a whistleblowers protection framework introduced in 2016, in the form of a labour Law offering protection against retaliation.
However, the protection offered was not uniform and Cyprus did not have a comprehensive framework for whistleblowers protection.
Current implementation status
The new Whistleblowing Law passed on February 4th, 2022, after its publication in the Official Gazette.
The adoption of the law will make Cyprus the sixth country out of 27 EU Member States to introduce new legislation to implement the Directive.
Scope of Application
The Law applies to any person reporting or disclosing information on breaches in a work-related context, including self-employed persons, volunteers, trainees (paid or unpaid), civil servants, shareholders (including non-executive members) and persons working under the supervision of contractors and suppliers.
Whistleblowers are also protected when disclosing information during the recruitment process or after the end of a working relationship.
The protection under the law is extended to facilitators, and any third persons or legal entities having a connection with the reporting.
Reporting can be made internally or externally, but the law encourages the introduction of internal reporting channels in the private sector.
Any public disclosure can qualify for protection, but whistleblowers won’t be protected if they directly disclose information to the press.
Confidentiality of personal data must be ensured, and any personal data related to a report has to be deleted after 3 months, or 1 year after completion of any legal or disciplinary proceedings.
Protection and Penalties
Whistleblowers are generally protected against any form of retaliation. Witnesses involved in the procedures of the reporting can also benefit from a protection under the applicable Witness Protection legislation.
Employers have an obligation to protect employees from acts of their superiors or any other employee which constitutes retaliation for reporting.
In case of retaliation, penalties can go up to 3 years in prison and a €30 000 fine. The Law also imposes criminal liability on legal entities for offences committed by any person acting on behalf of such entity.
Make sure you’re compliant with the new requirements with our Local Compliance Check-list.
Evaluate your reporting system in place and highlight areas of improvement with our self-assessment template.