On 23 October 2019, a new directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the "Directive") was signed. It requires Member States to adopt laws, among other things, obliging companies to establish reporting channels and to ensure sufficient protection of whistleblowers. The Directive also provides for penalties applicable to both individuals and legal entities. Such national regulations and related whistleblowing measures shall come into force in less than two years. Please find below a brief summary of the legal aspects, the new obligations and the possible penalties in relation to the new whistleblowing Directive.
It has been roughly a year since the somewhat controversial DSM Directive entered into force on June 7, 2019. The clock is ticking as the EU member states are required to transpose the Directive into national law within 24 months—a half of which is already gone. The most discussed provisions of the DSM Directive are included in its Articles 15 and 17.
On June 26, 2020, a significant amendment to the Czech Labor Code, (which we informed you about in our newsletter back in February 2020), was published in the Collection of Laws as the Act No. 285/2020 Coll. Adoption of the amendment was originally planned with an earlier date, but was delayed due to extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus. Nevertheless, apart from this delay, the adoption procedure was smooth and the amendment (particularly as a result of the previous tripartite consensus) did not undergo any significant changes during the legislative procedure.
“The measures taken by the Czech Republic’s government during the pandemic were good and quick, but the discipline people have shown helped with the situation as well,” says Jan Spacil, Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal in Prague. “Various other countries that didn’t work as quickly later had to impose much stricter measures.”
Kinstellar has advised Max Aicher GmbH & Co. KG on the acquisition of the enterprises of the bankrupt Czech companies, Pilsen Steel s.r.o. and Pilsen Estates s.r.o., from insolvency administrator Jaroslav Broz. Tarpan Partners were on the insolvency administrator’s team, while Roedl & Partner served as tax advisors to the Max Aicher group.
Clifford Chance has advised Vseobecna Uverova Banka a.s., the Slovak subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo, on the update of its EUR 5 billion covered bond program and another syndicated EUR 500 million issuance via the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Allen & Overy reportedly advised joint lead managers Banca IMI S.p.A., Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Danske Bank A/S, Erste Group Bank AG, and Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.