What protection do you enjoy as a whistleblower?

  • The law[1] provides protection for persons who in good faith report to the FSMA an infringement of the financial legislation with which the FSMA supervises compliance.
  • Such persons may report information that would normally be confidential. The report may not give rise to any civil law, criminal law or ethical charges or to professional sanctions. The persons concerned are not considered to be infringing any contractually or legally binding restriction on the disclosure or reporting of information, and cannot be involved in liability of any kind relating to the reporting of the information (unless the person is a lawyer).
  • Reporting persons are protected against retaliation, discrimination and other types of unfair treatment or unfavourable measure (such as dismissal, salary cut, change in position or job content) by their employer in relation to or as a result of reporting an infringement [2]. The reporting person can ask the FSMA to confirm the status of whistleblower, including the date when the report was made, in the event of a labour dispute.
  • Be aware that this is a protection offered by Belgian law and that this protection therefore only applies to the extent that Belgian law applies (to the individual relationship between the whistleblower and the person making a claim against him, or between the whistleblower and his employer or another person who employs him).


[1] Article 69bis of the Law of 2 August 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and on financial services, add hyperlink. This Article also provides for protection of the person whom a report accuses of an infringement.

[2] Individual cases are assessed in the course of judicial proceedings. The burden of proof that the treatment or measure is unrelated to and not a consequence of the report rests on the employer, under certain conditions, for a period of 12 months from the time of the report and as long as the dispute is pending. The employee can request again, under the same conditions, to be rehired in the company (with payment of the lost earnings) or can claim compensation in the amount of a minimum of 6 months' gross salary. Public sector employees and persons who are employed under a status other than (private sector) employees, such as self-employed staff, enjoy the same protection.