Swiss lawmakers are reviewing a Bill that regulates when and how workers can blow the whistle without offering any positive legal protections
In view of the global importance of Swiss-based multinational companies operating in food retail, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing and financial services, the protection of whistleblowers in Switzerland is of international concern as well as of national importance.
WIN’s Board of Trustees – experts in whistleblowing law and practice around the world - has sent an open letter to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss National Council urging them to reject the proposal before them as it offers no effective protections for whistleblowers.
After 17 years of debating whether or how to protect whistleblowers in Switzerland, it is deeply disappointing that the proposal before the Swiss Parliament fails to address the power differential between employers and their workers and will do nothing to give whistleblowers a fighting chance to survive if they report wrongdoing. It merely states that if workers follow the procedures laid out in the law when reporting concerns to their employer, and in limited circumstances to a competent authority, they will be acting in accordance with their duty of loyalty to their employer. There is no positive legal protection against retaliation or dismissal.
Whistleblowing laws are meant to increase the flow of information where needed for accountability. Just as the EU adopts a Directive to protect whistleblowers that meets most international standards and supports freedom of expression and democratic accountability in Europe, this proposal is yet another false start for Switzerland.
You can read our letter to the Swiss Parliament here and our legal memorandum on the EU Directive here.