LEGISLATION - Overview of background and purpose

Comprehensive protection of whistleblowers improves the possibility of tackling abuses

In the past, the protection of whistleblowers has been inconsistent at EU level and the level of protection has varied between Member States. In Finland as well, the provisions on the protection of notifiers have been inconsistent, and whistleblowers have not always received proper protection against retaliation. As a result, people have not been willing to report abuses and therefore no information has been received on them. The aim is now to create uniform EU-level minimum standards for the protection of whistleblowers.

In general, employees in organisations are best placed to report observed or suspected violations. For this reason, work communities need confidential and safe reporting channels and effective protection of whistleblowers. As a result of protection, more violations could be reported, more abuses would be revealed and the perpetrators would be held accountable.

Enhanced implementation of Union law

It has been determined that violations of legislation cause particular harm to public interest, as they often result in significant risks to the well-being of society. Such areas of legislation include public procurement, environmental protection and product safety. These areas, in particular, are clearly in the scope of EU legislation and have the clearest impact on the implementation of Union law. Improving implementation will require the effective protection of whistleblowers, as infringements are often difficult to detect and whistleblowers are at an advantage when it comes to revealing infringements.

The Whistleblower Act safeguards the EU's financial interests and improves the detection and prevention of abuses and other illegal activities detrimental to the public interest. As a Member State, Finland is also obliged to enhance the protection of whistleblowers. The introduction of a single system for the protection of whistleblowers at EU level will contribute not only to the implementation of Union law but also to ensuring the level playing field required for the proper functioning of the internal market and a level playing field for business.