Bulgaria: The Whistleblowing Act

Eurofast would like to draw your attention to a new mandatory procedure that you might need to implement in your Bulgarian company. We are going to share with you a brief description of the procedure and requirements with an emphasis on the deadline that must be met.

In Issue No. 11 of the “State Gazette”, the Law adopted by the National Assembly for the protection of whistleblowers or publicly disclosing information on violations was promulgated. It introduces the requirements of Directive 2019/1937 (the so-called Whistleblower Directive),

Application of the Law

   The law entered into force on 4th of May 2023, and applies to:

  1.  Employers in the private sector employing more than 50 employees and must have implemented the procedure until the 17th of December 2023.
  2. Employers in the private sector, regardless of the number of their workers or employees, if the activity carried out by them falls within the scope of the acts of the European Union referred below:
  3.  Breaches of the Bulgarian legislation or acts of the European Union in the areas of:

(a) public procurement;

(b) financial services, products and markets, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing;

(c) safety and compliance of products;

(d) transport safety;

(e) protection of the environment;

(f) radiation protection and nuclear safety;

(g) food and feed safety, animal health and welfare;

(h) public health;

(i) consumer protection;

(j) respect for privacy and protection of personal data;

(k) security of network and information systems;

  •  Where the sector-specific acts of the European Union provide for specific rules on reporting of breaches, the rules laid down in those acts or national provisions for the relevant rules shall apply

This Act shall apply as far as the matter is not necessarily regulated in the relevant sector-specific acts and national provisions and must be declared until the 17th of December 2023 too.

The purpose of the Whistleblowing rules is to ensure the protection of persons in the public and private sectors who file reports or publicly disclose information about violations of Bulgarian legislation or acts of the European Union, which came to their attention during or in connection with the performance of their work or official duties or in another work context.

Most often, workers or employees discover or receive information about such violations but refrain from disclosing them due to fear of adverse consequences. Precisely, in order the above-mentioned persons to feel effectively protected and to prevent any possible kind of revanchism, their protection is regulated. The goal is to build and introduce a national mechanism for the protection of these persons, as well as to carry out an inspection and act on every report received. For Whistleblowing and public disclosure of facts about violations, the law also defines a central body for external Whistleblowing istle-blowing and protection of the persons to whom such protection is provided. This authority is the Personal Data Protection Commission.

Eurofast is committed to prepare the full set of documentation according to the requirements of the regulations of Whistleblowing Act in the private sector, including procedures, template of documentation (Registers, Notification letters, Internal Company Rules etc.) and to present the new Act to the employees in case you ask us to do so.

For more information, contact our office in Bulgaria at sofia@eurofast.eu.

Pantelis Papadopoulos
Manager Outsourcing Services
Eurofast Sofia