Whistleblowers will be granted a higher level of protection under new legislation passed earlier this week in Italy.
The new provisions apply to civil servants as well as employees in the private sector. Whistleblowing protection will shield individuals who submit a good faith report concerning unlawful conduct, provided that such report is based on a reasonable belief and factual elements.
The new legislation prohibits any retaliation or other discriminatory measures against good faith whistleblowers, including termination, demotion, transfer or other organizational action.
In the private sector, the new legislation has a significant impact on organizational models adopted to prevent corporate criminal liability pursuant to Legislative Decree 231 of 2001. In fact, all organizational models will need to set up appropriate channels for the confidential reporting of criminal conduct and violations of the organizational models themselves. Measures aimed at protecting the identity of the whistleblowers and the confidentiality of the reports, as well as disciplinary sanctions against retaliatory or discriminatory measures against whistleblowers, will also need to be included in such organizational models.
The new legislation is expected to enter into force shortly, upon publication in the official gazette.