Protection of Whistle-blowers
What do I need to know about the protection of whistle-blowers?
The protection of whistle-blowers, their rights and possible legal remedies are laid down in the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers of the Republic of Lithuania.
The following relevant legislation also applies:
Ruling of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers of the Republic of Lithuania”.
The Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania implements the functions of the competent authority conferred by the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers.
For more information see – here.
If, after assessing the information submitted by you, we find that you meet the conditions set out in the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers for acquiring the status of a Whistle-blowers and you will have expressed your will to acquire the status of a Whistle-blowers in your report, we will immediately forward your report to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania.
Only the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania can adopt a decision in regards to granting the status of a Whistle-blowers.
What are the most important legal remedies?
The person who has submitted information on the infringement shall be subject to the following defenses under Article 11(3) and (5) of the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers, which shall protect against adverse effects:
- In cases when the person who has submitted information on the breach through the institution’s internal whistleblowing channel is adversely affected, he/she shall submit a report to the competent authority, which shall decide on the recognition of the person as a Whistle-blowers.
- The person who submitted the information, the confirmed Whistle-blowers and their family members, relatives and colleagues may apply to the courts as a result of the adverse effects of the measures.
What are the most important rights and guarantees?
Basic measures to protect, promote and assist individuals include:
- Ensuring secure channels for reporting violations;
- Ensuring confidentiality;
- Prohibition of adverse impact;
- The right to be rewarded for valuable information;
- The right to compensation;
- Ensuring free legal aid;
- Liability discharge;
- The right to full, impartial information and free advice on whistleblowing procedures and remedies.
The submission of information which is known to be false, or which constitutes a State or official secret, does not confer any guarantees on the individual under the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers. Furthermore, a person who has submitted knowingly false information or who has disclosed a State or official secret or a professional secret shall be liable in accordance with the procedure laid down by law.
What liability can the person who submitted the information about the infringement be exempted from?
A person who submits information on a breach in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Law on the Protection of Whistle-blowers shall not be deemed to have disclosed information relating to commercial (industrial) secret, professional secret, bank secret, confidential information of companies in the EPSO-G Group or information on the private life of an individual, except where the breach has been disclosed to the public.
What are the prohibited measures against the Whistle-blowers?
We undertake to ensure that we prohibit any adverse action against the Whistle-blowers, as well as his/her family members, colleagues working for the Company or the Group, as a result of the disclosure of information through the Trust Line, including but not limited to:
- Temporarily suspending him/her from his/her duties;
- Dismissal; suspension from promotion;
- Redeployment to a lower position or to another work place;
- Not converting a fixed-term contract into an open-ended contract where the employee has a legitimate expectation of being offered a permanent job;
- Not renewing a fixed-term contract or terminating a fixed-term contract early; intimidation;
- Restricting or excluding an employee from participation in previously normal formal or informal activities;
- Threat of retaliation;
- Limiting career opportunities;
- Suspension from training;
- Pay cuts;
- Unreasonably altering working hours or assigning additional tasks without providing explanation; delegating additional tasks to other people;
- Raising doubts about person’s competence;
- Adversely assessing performance or giving negative feedback about the employee;
- Communicating to third parties negative information about him/her which may prevent him/her from finding future employment in that sector or industry;
- Withdrawing the employee’s right to work with information which constitutes a State or official secret;
- Imposing or applying disciplinary penalties of any kind, or other sanctions (including financial sanctions);
- Causing damage (including damage to a person’s reputation, in particular on social networks); causing financial loss (including loss of business and income);
- Terminating a contract for the supply of goods or services prematurely;
- Revoking a licence or permit;
- Referring an employee to psychiatrists or other medical practitioners;
- Taking any other adverse action.