Proposals for new legislation to improve protection for whistle blowers

March 2012

The Draft Heads of the Protected Disclosure in the Public Interest Bill 2012 were published recently by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin, T.D.

The Bill applies to both the public and private sectors, and, aims to protect employees who disclose serious wrongdoing in their workplace. The traditional definition of employees is to be extended to include contractors, trainees, agency staff, and, home workers.

The wrongdoing covered by the legislation is to include, among others, criminal misconduct, corruption, breach of legal obligations, health and safety risks, environmental damage, and, mismanagement of public services.

However, the Bill only provides a limited guarantee of anonymity to whistleblowers, which may make it difficult for employees to come forward.

The legislative proposals highlight the onus of responsibility on employers to promote accountability and transparency in their organisations.

O’Callaghan Kelly recommends that a whistle-blowing policy form part of your organisation’s risk management strategy.

If you require further information on the proposals for new legislation to improve protection for whistleblowers please contact O’Callaghan Kelly.

Back to top