EU Whistleblowing Directive – Sweden
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Last update 1 March 2023
Whistleblowers protection already in place
There were initially no Whistleblowing Systems regulations in place in Sweden.
Current implementation status
Starting investigations to transpose the Directive since May 2019, Swedish Parliament approved the new legislation on the 29th of September, 2021, making Sweden the second member state to fully transpose the EU Directive on Whistleblowing into national law.
Sweden goes beyond the minimum standards of the EU Directive and extends the protection for public interest reporting. The law proposal covers all reports and disclosures of breaches of both National and EU laws.
Protection and Procedures
Whistleblowers are given protection with a greater reach: the protection covers both the time before and after the whistleblower is engaged in the Organization.
The procedures on how reported information should be handled are clarified, however, no technical requirements have been set for the design of the internal whistleblower procedure. Organizations are free to implement the platform they prefer, but it should be user-friendly, ensure confidential treatment of the informant’s identity and enable both written and oral reporting.
Scope of Reporting
The Swedish interpretation and transposition of the EU Directive have limited the scope of topics that can be reported through a Whistleblowing System to two main branches:
- All serious irregularities concerning the accounting area, audit matters, bribery, banking and financial crimes
- All serious irregularities concerning the life and health of individuals, and the company’s vital interests
Other topics can be approved by the Swedish Data Privacy Authority (DPA) by means of exemption, but the approach remains very restrictive.
Two further regulations have been adopted on 28 October 2021 :
- 30 national authorities have been designated as competent authorities to handle and process whistleblowing reports. Several authorities are listed for different types of policies areas. The new legislation clarifies which are responsible for acting as an external channel of reporting.
- Funding is provided to Organizations by the Swedish Work Environment Authority as an “ordinance on state funding for information and advice regarding protection for persons reporting wrongdoings”. The objective is to ensure that all whistleblowers under the new protection legislation receive the adequate framework to make reports, including : free, easily accessible information and advice on the nature of the protections provided under the new legislation, the procedures and reporting channels in place, the processing of their personal data and the existing confidentiality measures.
As of today, the new Whistleblowing framework has entered into force. Organizations with 50 employees and more now have 2 years to set up their Whistleblowing systems before the next deadline in December 2023.
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.
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