Whistleblower-Netzwerk e.V. Criticises Lack of Review on Whistleblowing Law

July 08, 2024
Back to All News

Whistleblower Protection NGO and Member of WIN - Whistleblower-Netzwerk e.V. (WBN) has issued a Press Release criticising the lack of progress in evaluating and improving the recent Whistleblower Protection law in Germany.

WBN claim that despite the legal framework established by the new law - known as the Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz (HinSchG) - to protect whistleblowers from reprisals and facilitate both internal and external reporting, although significant shortcomings remain unaddressed.

The Act, which came into force on July 2, 2023, mandates the creation of reporting channels within organisations to protect individuals who expose misconduct. However, WBN asserts that these measures will only be effective if whistleblowers feel adequately informed, protected, and supported. 
Despite legislative intentions to conduct an evaluation by mid-2025, WBN reports that the draft federal budget has not allocated funds for this purpose.

"The Whistleblower Protection Act has improved the legal landscape for whistleblowing, but practical implementation is severely lacking," said Kosmas Zittel, Managing Director of WBN. "Many municipalities and companies still have not established the required internal reporting channels, and the government shows no intent to rectify the numerous deficiencies of the law."

WBN has identified several critical flaws since the early stages of the EU Directive’s implementation debate in Germany. These include the law’s narrow focus on legal violations, excluding other forms of gross misconduct from protection; the exclusion of matters related to national security and intelligence services; the limited protection for whistleblowing on classified government documents; and the restricted, legally uncertain conditions under which whistleblowers can go public.

As the first anniversary of the HinSchG approaches, WBN’s press release serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges in implementing effective whistleblower protections in Germany, and in implementing the EU Directive across Europe. The NGO’s call for a comprehensive evaluation and urgent legislative reforms highlights the critical need to ensure that whistleblowers are genuinely supported and protected in their efforts to expose wrongdoing.

To keep up to date with developments and analysis on the transposition of the 2019 EU Directive on the Protection of Whistleblowers, visit the EU Whistleblower Monitor and follow WIN on LinkedIn and X (Twitter).