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Sweden gets new whistleblower law for protecting employees

Published fredag 30 december 2016 kl 10.49
Employment lawyer: A light push in the right direction
(1:36 min)
A person working at a computer
Credit: FREDRIK SANDBERG / TT

A new law aiming to protect employees who sound the alarm about irregularities at work is coming into force on January 1, 2017.

The law is aimed particularly at protecting private-sector employees from employer reprisals when information has leaked out. For instance, discrimination and loss of pay rise would be punishable for the employer. 

“The fear of reporting irregularities will hopefully diminish. So if an employee is unsure about whether or not to do so, this is a light push in the right direction,” employment lawyer Eva Folkow told Swedish Radio. 

Norway has had a nearly identical law since 2007, which has had positive effects, according to Folkow. She mentions, for instance, that the law has led to more discussions and increased awareness of employee protection. 

“And also the fact that not only are you protected, you are also almost encouraged to report misconduct at work,” Folkow said. 

But not everyone is positive about the new whistleblower law. The Liberal Party is critical that the law allows employees to report on matters that are neither illegal nor in breach of company guidelines. 

“Legislation should not open it up for people to be able to report issues just because they personally find them unethical. Because what people consider good morals differs a lot,” Fredrik Malm of the Liberal Party told Swedish Radio.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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