Action now required for employers with more than 50 employees
New Workplace Whistleblowing legislation
The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 – the legal landscape of protected disclosures, often referred to as ‘whistleblowing’. From 17 December 2023, the Act expands the scope of the protections for those who make protected disclosures and places new and enhanced obligations on organisations with more than 50 employees to have processes in place to facilitate workers in making protected disclosures.
Internal channels for making reports and procedures for dealing with reports
From 17 December 2023, there will be a requirement for employers with more than 50 employees to facilitate the making of whistleblowing reports with a duty to “establish, maintain and operate internal reporting channels and procedures.”
Compensation awards of up to 5 years pay can be made by the WRC where a worker is penalised for making a protected disclosure. Where a worker is not in receipt of remuneration, for example a job applicant, or volunteer, the WRC can make an award of up to €15,000 to these individuals.
Action items for employers
- Employers need to review & update their existing policies and procedures now to ensure that any protected disclosures can be properly channelled and progressed in line with the new measures before 17 December 2023.
- Employers must appoint a designated impartial person(s) who is trained to enable them to undertake that role.
- Wider awareness for line managers as to how to address, handle and channel disclosures also needs to be considered.