Iceland has passed its first-ever whistleblower legislation, providing comprehensive protections for employees in the public and private sectors. The law will take effect at the beginning of next year.
The Iceland whistleblower law provides for the direct reporting of violations to regulators, rather than internal compliance. The new law also provides that strict confidentiality for whistleblowers reporting to law enforcement or regulators.
According to the text, “This Act applies to employees who, in good faith, disclose information or disseminate data on violations of law or other noteworthy conduct in their employers’ activities, whether working in the public or private markets.”
The law also covers a broad scope of potential violations, including reporting that does not necessarily carry specific knowledge of a violation.
“Contemptible conduct refers to conduct that endangers public interests, such as to conduct that threatens the health or safety of people or the environment, without any manifest violation of law or regulation.”
However, Iceland’s whistleblower law does not include financial rewards, a key incentive for encouraging whistleblowers to come forward. Whistleblower reward laws have proven to effective in combating waste, fraud, and abuse worldwide.