Spanish lawmakers approve draft legislation to protect whistleblowers

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Draft legislation to protect whistleblowers who expose serious offences or corruption cases in the public or private sector was approved by Spanish lawmakers.

 

On Thursday, December 22, draft legislation designed to protect anyone who exposes serious offences or corruption cases in the private or public sector was approved by Spanish lawmakers. The bill will now go before the Senate.

The approval of the bill in parliament was hailed as: “a very important text for the prevention of corruption and the fight against it”, by Pilar Llop the Justice Minister. It seeks to: “protect anyone who in any employment or professional context identifies and exposes serious criminal or administrative offences”.

In order to protect the identity of any potential whistleblower, and guarantee their confidentiality, an ‘internal reporting system’ has been included as an obligation. An “independent authority for the protection of informants”, will also be included as an external alert system to protect whistleblowers.

If passed, all public entities, unions, organisations that receive public funding, and political parties must implement the system. It will also have to be put in place by any company that employs more than 50 workers.

Legal measures are built in which are aimed at protecting journalists and their sources plus to give peace of mind to any member of the public who might report a crime.

These tools are designed to prevent the ‘unacceptable’ consequences that might occur should an informant’s identity become known. these include situations including: “contract terminations, intimidation, unfair conduct and reputational damage”.

Confidentiality clauses in an employee’s contract that restrict their capacity or right to report serious offences will also be rendered null and void stated the text.

In 2019, the EU adopted rules that protected whistleblowers. This bill will fall in line with its guidelines, ensuring that informants will not be subjected to retaliation for exposing alleged wrongdoing affecting the public.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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