The French Sapin 2 law and whistleblowing

March 17, 2017

Whistleblowing – a new requirement under Sapin 2

Companies and public entities that are covered by the new French Anti-Corruption law, Sapin 2 are required to adopt a compliance program that includes an internal whistleblowing mechanism “to allow employees to report acts or behaviors that violate the company’s Code of Conduct”.

WhistleB was invited to the Paris seminar by Norton Rose Fulbright and Forensic Risk Alliance to speak about our experiences to put into place an efficient whistleblowing service.

Enhanced whistleblower protection under Sapin 2

Sapin 2 prohibits retaliation against a whistleblower, per international standards (Transparency International). A whistleblower acting in good faith is protected if he or she reports a violation of French law or of an international treaty to which France is a party, or any issue that poses a threat or damage to the public interest. The protection includes reports on possible violations of the Code of Conduct.

A whistleblower is defined broadly as an individual who reveals or signals, in a disinterested manner and in good faith, a crime or a misdemeanour, a serious and clear violation of an international convention ratified or approved by France, of a unilateral act by an international organization derived from such an engagement, of a law or regulation, or a threat or a serious damage to public interest of which he/she has personal knowledge.

There are exceptions for facts, information, and documents classified for national security purposes, or covered by medical confidentiality or attorney-client privilege.

The new law introduces measures to ensure the confidentiality and non-liability of whistleblowers. Companies must implement procedures that:

-enable whistleblowers’ reporting internally to either direct (line manager) or indirect supervisors (for example compliance officer). If there is no appropriate internal respond, or in case of a serious imminent danger, a whistleblower can turn to appropriate judicial or administrative authorities, as well as to the relevant professional association. The information may be made public only as a last resort.
-ensure that whistleblowers’ identities remain confidential.

Individuals who do not respect these provisions of non-retaliation, or reveal a whistleblower´s identity may be punished by imprisonment and fines.

WhistleB is a service provider for whistleblowing services. Our service is compliant with the highest data security and data privacy standards (ISO 27 0001 and GDPR compliant). It is a user-friendly tool to increse your chances of receiving relevant report.

For more information, please contact WhistleB France. Mr. Claudio Interdonato at or +33 6 27 83 57 82


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