Whistleblowing regulations in non-EU countries

With EU wide Whistleblower protection regulation soon to be implemented in national laws of all EU countries, we decided to have a more detailed look at whistleblowing regulations in non-EU countries as well. Here's a non-comprehensive list country by country of other whistleblowing regulations:

 

The United States ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ  

In the United States, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provide protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the federal government or the financial industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has a whistleblower protection program that covers many private sector employees. 

Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต  

Japan has a Law Concerning the Protection of Whistleblowers that provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law, which was enacted in 2006, applies to central and local government agencies and public schools. In 2022, amendments were made to the Whistleblower Protection Act in Japan. The new amendments require companies to have internal whistleblowing system with designated people as receivers of the reports.

Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ 

Australia has the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations, such as companies that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Besides that Australia also has The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) both contain protections for whistleblowers.

Singapore ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ 

Singapore has the Public Sector (Whistleblowing) Regulations, which provide protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The regulations, which were enacted in 2010, apply to all public sector agencies, including statutory boards and government-owned companies. There is, however, no overarching legislation on whistleblowing in Singapore.

The United Kingdom  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 

The United Kingdom has the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations, such as companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Russia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ 

Russia has a federal law on the protection of whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law, which was enacted in 2012, applies to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as state-owned companies. However, regardless of the law, whistleblowers in Russia have a high probability of facing retaliation and there have been reports of persecution of whistleblowers in the country.

Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

Canada has the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations that are required to report to a federal regulator, such as banks and telecommunications companies.

Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ 

Malaysia has the Whistleblower Protection Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

South Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท 

South Korea has the Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ 

New Zealand has the Protected Disclosures Act (updated 2022), which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconducts happening in the workplace. The Act has been extended also private sector companies along with public sector and listed companies.

Israel ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 

Israel has the Whistleblower Protection Law, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies. 

Norway ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด 

Norway has Norwegian Working Environment Act (WEA) which has taken effect on Jan 2020. Even though Norway is not part of EU, it harmonizes many of the laws and regulations with EU member states of which whistleblower protection is one example.

India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ 

India has the Whistleblowers Protection Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ 

Thailand has the Whistleblower Protection Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท 

Brazil has the Federal Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies. 

Peru ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช 

Peru has the Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

Chile ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 

Chile has no Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers but two separate regulations define protections and types of cases included.

Argentina ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท 

Argentina has the section 41 ter of the Argentine Criminal Code (โ€œACCโ€), which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

Other South American countries

In General Latin America is lagging in whistleblower protection the rest of the world, but there are some regulations in other South American countries too.
 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

Qatar ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

Qatar has a Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The law also covers certain private sector organizations that are regulated by a federal authority, such as banks and insurance companies.

South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ  

South Africa has the Protected Disclosures Act, which provides protections for whistleblowers who report misconduct in the public sector. The Act also covers certain private sector organizations, such as companies that are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. However, the law seems to be major loopholes still to actually protect whistleblowers.

Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ  

Ghana has one of the strongest whistleblower acts in the continent but it is still rare for people to come up and report whistleblowing cases.

Other African countries

According to DW.com only seven of 54 African countries have any kind of regulation for whistleblower protection.
 

Countries that do not have Whistleblower Protection regulations

Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ 
In Switzerland, There is no current law protecting whistleblowers. Currently there is no law in Switzerland protecting whistleblowers from dismissal by their employer.
Saudi-Arabia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Saudi Arabia does not have comprehensive whistleblower protection laws. Whistleblowers in Saudi Arabia may face retaliation for reporting misconduct and there have been reports of persecution of whistleblowers in the country.
China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ 
China does not have comprehensive whistleblower protection laws and whistleblowers may face retaliation for reporting misconduct. There have been efforts to improve whistleblower protections in the country, but these efforts have been limited.
 
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Other countries without whistleblower protection regulations 

Afghanistan
Cambodia
Iran
North Korea
Somalia
Syria
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Indonesia
 
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and the situation regarding whistleblower protections may change over time. It is always best to consult with a legal professional or an organisation that specialises in whistleblower protections for the most up-to-date information. 

Different types of cases covered by different whistleblowing regulations

Whistleblower protection laws vary by country and may cover different types of misconduct. In general, whistleblower protection laws are intended to protect individuals who report or disclose information about misconduct that is in the public interest.
 
Examples of types of misconduct that may be covered by whistleblower protection laws include
  • Financial crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, or insider trading
  • Corruption, including bribery and conflicts of interest
  • Health and safety violations, such as those related to food safety or workplace safety
  • Environmental violations, such as pollution or the illegal dumping of waste
  • Discrimination or harassment
  • Fraud or waste in government programs or contracts 
Some whistleblower protection laws may also cover other types of misconduct, such as unethical or illegal conduct by an organization or its employees. It is important to note that the specific types of misconduct covered by whistleblower protection laws may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific provisions of the law.

Employer requirements and ramifications of whistleblowing laws

Employer requirements under whistleblower protection laws and regulations vary by jurisdiction. In general, however, employers may be required to:
  • Establish procedures for employees to report misconduct
  • Protect employees from retaliation for reporting misconduct
  • Investigate reports of misconduct and take appropriate corrective action
  • Provide training to employees on the whistleblower protection policy and procedures
  • Inform employees of their rights and responsibilities under the policy
  • Monitor for and address any instances of retaliation against whistleblowers
In some cases, employers may also be required to report certain types of misconduct to regulatory agencies or law enforcement. For example, employers may be required to report financial crimes, health and safety violations, or environmental violations.
 
It is important for employers to be familiar with the specific requirements of the whistleblower protection laws and regulations that apply to their organization, and to ensure that they have policies and procedures in place to comply with these requirements. Failure to comply with whistleblower protection laws and regulations can result in legal consequences for the employer.

Employers that violate whistleblower protection laws may face

  • Civil fines or penalties
  • Damages or compensation for the whistleblower
  • Injunctive relief, such as a court order requiring the employer to take specific actions to remedy the violation
  • Criminal charges or imprisonment, in cases where the employer's conduct rises to the level of a criminal offense
In some cases, employers that violate whistleblower protection laws may also face reputational damage and negative publicity, which can have significant consequences for the organization.

Conclusion

It is important for employers to be familiar with the specific legal consequences that may result from violating whistleblower protection laws and regulations, and to ensure that they are in compliance with these laws to avoid potential legal consequences.
 
If you're looking for a whistleblowing platform for your business, we've got you covered. Falcony | Whistleblowing is easy-to-use, boosts two-way communication, has customisable workflows, vast integration possibilities and more. Book a demo from the button below.

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