NFU News

EU Parliament support for full protection of whistle-blowers

The May 14 vote in the Economic and Monetary Committee in the European Parliament (ECON) was a good one for NFU and for finance employees in Europe. In their vote on the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD),
the ECON Committee went in support for a full protection and anonymity for finance employees who blow the whistle about irregularities and breaches in their company. Full anonymity is a precondition for a well-functioning whistle-blowing system – to make sure that employees choose to blow the whistle in the first place, but also to protect employees against harassment and threats and difficulties getting a new job in future. NFU has worked long and hard to lobby for these guarantees, and we are happy to see that the ECON Committee agrees with our points.

Furthermore, the ECON Committee agreed that the trade union structure in a company is an appropriate and useful channel for internal whistle-blowers to alert their management on possible breaches. In particular in the Nordic countries, there is a strong tradition for using the local trade union representative in professional matters which require confidentiality, and the vote yesterday is a support in favour of a continuation of such a system.

The vote was also a great win for NFU as regards the tradition of employee representation on boards of companies. The ECON committee supported a formulation recognising the value of having employee representatives on Boards of Directors in particular given their experience and knowledge of the company from the inside. This is a great support for the Nordic model of employee representation in times where it has been weakend in a European context.

The next steps

The Parliament will vote on the CRD dossier in Plenary on 3 July. If the ECON Committee gets support by the entire Parliament, the Rapporteur responsible for the CRD dossier, Othmar Karas (EPP, Austria) has a mandate to negotiate a final text with the Council of Ministers after the summer break.

In the coming weeks and months, the ECON will come back to whistle-blower protection and employee representation issues when they discuss and vote on the MiFID directive and the Market Abuse Regulation (scheduled for 9 July). In these two pieces of legislation, NFU is hopeful to get similar formulations ensuring full protection of whistle-blowers and in support employee representation on boards.

In addition to this, we also hope to have formulations on training and sales targets in the MiFID.

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