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In December 2019, the Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (“Whistleblowing Directive“) entered into force. Member States are required to transpose the Whistleblowing Directive into national laws (“National Implementation Acts“) and to apply such National Implementation Acts as of 17 December 2021. The National Implementation Acts will have to require companies with more than 50 employees to implement internal compliance reporting channels and to provide protection for certain whistleblowers (i.e., protection against retaliation).

Companies already having an internal whistleblowing system may need to make changes to such system depending on how anonymous reporting is handled, on permissible subject matters and on internal responsibilities. Details will, however, depend on the respective National Implementation Acts.

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Julia Kaufmann is a partner in the Munich office of Baker McKenzie. She has been admitted in Germany since 2006 and in New York, USA, since 2009. In addition to her studies in Germany, Julia obtained her Master of Laws degree at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Author

Kerstin Grimhardt is an associate in the Munich office of Baker McKenzie and a member of the Information Technology Practice Group. Before joining the Firm in 2019, she worked for a big German automobile manufacturer in Silicon Valley, California.

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Dr. Michaela Nebel is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Baker McKenzie since June 2011 and was admitted as an attorney to the German bar shortly after. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie she studied law at the University of Passau. She obtained her Doctor of Law degree on a topic related to privacy in the Web 2.0. From July until December 2014 she practiced at the San Francisco office of Baker McKenzie. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and since May 2015 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) and since May 2017 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). She is also the author of numerous articles on information technology law, in particular on data protection law and e-commerce law, and the co-author of an English language commentary on the EU General Data Protection Regulation. In 2017/2018, Michaela received several recommendations for data protection law in kanzleimonitor.de.

Author

Florian Tannen is a partner in the Munich office of Baker McKenzie. He advises on all areas of contentious and non-contentious information technology law, including internet, computer/software and data privacy law. He also has profound experience in the drafting and negotiation of outsourcing and IP-project (in particular SAP-implementations) contracts. Before joining the Firm, Florian worked for two major law firms and a large US-based technology company.