romania

In Process

Whistleblowers protection already in place

Romania had a specific whistleblowing protection law in place since 2004, shortly referred to as “Romanian Whistleblower’s Law”. With this law, Romania was one of the first contry in the continental legislative system to have a comprehensive whistleblowers protection act.

However, only whistleblowers of the public sector were protectected under this legislation. 

Current implementation status

Submitted on February 3rd, 2022, the Law was supposed to enter into force on March 31st, 2022.

Following serious concerns about Romania’s new whistleblowing law, an opposition political party has complained to Romania’s constitutional court. USR’s (Save Romania Union) submission to the Court states that the draft version of the new legislation adopted in the Chamber of Deputies differs substantially from the one adopted by the Senate; and that this undermines the constitutionally protected bicameralism principle.

USR also argued that the certain provisions of the new law are not sufficiently clear, in particular, the protection of reporting of classified information, and the regulation of anonymous reporting.

On the 13 July 2022, the Constitutional Court ruled that the transposition law does respect the relevant Constitutional standards.

However, on 28 July 2022, the Romanian President sent the law back to Parliament to be re-examined. In the re-examination request, the President raised concerns similar to those raised by civil society, emphasising also out that the EU Directive on whistleblowing law they were purporting to implement, appears not to be fully transposed.

New requirements 

Scope of Reporting 

The protection is extended to whistleblowers of the private sector, for all Organizations with more than 50 employees.

Whistleblowers are protected for the reporting of any breaches of law, beyond those mentioned in the Directive (limited to breaches of EU law in specific areas).

Protection of Identity

Romania made the choice of confidentiality over anonymity. Whistleblowers must identify themselves when submitting a report.

Anonymous reports will be dismissed but the whistleblower is still protected against retaliation if identified post-reporting.

The person handling reports cannot disclose the identity of the whistleblower, or any personal data present in the report.
The identity of a whistleblower can only be revealed:

  • if they expressly consented to
  • if there is an obligation imposed by law
  • if intentionally revealed by the whistleblower in a context of public disclosure

Reporting Channels

As mentioned by the Directive, whistleblowers now have a choice to make their reports through an internal or external reporting channel.

The non-anonymous reporting policy will most likely increase the use of external reporting channels.
The new challenge for Organizations will be to implement attractive and effective internal reporting channels, in order to avoid external reporting.

Next steps

Make sure you’re compliant with the new requirements.
Evaluate your reporting system in place and highlight areas of improvement with our self-assessment template.

WHISTLEBLOWING ASSESSMENT

TEMPLATE

Whistleblowing Assessment Template
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