Corporate Considerations Following Material Updates to French Whistleblower Protections
On September 1, 2022, new protections for whistleblowers came into force in France that may affect companies operating within its borders. These new whistleblower safeguards were officially passed on March 21, 2022 as “Law 2022-401 to Improve the Protection of Whistleblowers” (“Law 2022-401”). Law 2022-401 makes a number of modifications to the existing whistleblower protections within France’s Sapin II anti-corruption regime (among others) to more closely mirror those found in and required by the European Union’s Whistleblowing Directive of October 2019 (the “Whistleblowing Directive”). The Whistleblower Directive set out minimum standards and requirements for the protection of persons across all EU Member States reporting breaches of EU law. Given the enactment of Law 2022-401, businesses operating in France should consider reassessing their whistleblowing policies and procedures and, where necessary, updating them to ensure compliance.