In our newsflash of 7 December 2022, we wrote that the draft Belgian Act on whistleblowing for the private sector, which transposes EU Directive 2019/1937 into national legislation, had finally been adopted in Parliament.
This Act has now been published in the Belgian State Gazette of 15 December 2022 and will enter into force on 15 February 2023.
This means that the ‘clock has started ticking’ for companies with at least 250 workers. Thus, such companies must have an internal reporting channel ‘up and running’ by 15 February 2023. Also, companies in the financial sector or with activities related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing will have to install an internal reporting channel by this date regardless of their employee number.
Companies with between 50 and 249 workers have been granted a little more time, and must set-up an internal reporting channel by 17 December 2023. However, the rules regarding the protection of whistleblowers will, also for these companies, already apply as from 15 February 2023.
For an overview of the key elements, please see our newsflash of 7 December 2022.