Publications & Insights New whistleblowing laws - What you need to know
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New whistleblowing laws - What you need to know

Friday, 27 January 2023

The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 commenced on 1 January 2023, significantly amending the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (“the Act”). Our bulletin in August set out the key changes to the Act. We set out below a number of key issues and recent developments:

1. Internal reporting procedures required for many employers

Updated procedures are immediately required for (a) public bodies, (b) private sector employers with over 249 employees, and (c) private sector employers who (irrespective of the number of employees) fall within the scope of the EU legislation referred to in Parts I.B and II of the “Annex”. The EU legislation in question affects employers in the areas of financial services, products and markets, and employers with obligations to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Certain employers with obligations in the areas of transport safety and protection of the environment will also be affected. In our experience, there are many employers who fall within this category (c) that may not even be aware of this requirement.  Other private sector employers employing between 50 and 249 employees will be required by the Act to have appropriate procedures in place from 17 December 2023. A major overhaul of procedures will be required to deal with a significantly changed landscape, including the appointment of an appropriately trained designated person to deal with disclosures in each employer. Prescribed persons (mainly regulators) are also required to update their external reporting procedures.

2. Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner

The Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner (“the OPDC”) is a new public body established to operate as a “recipient of last resort” for whistleblowers. The OPDC has recently launched its website, which has several informative resources, both on making reports in general and also on how reports to the OPDC will be handled. 

3. Key guidance documents published

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has issued “Interim guidance for prescribed persons and public bodies”. ByrneWallace LLP assisted the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in drafting this detailed document, which takes into account the provisions of the amended legislation. Public bodies (including prescribed persons) must have regard to this guidance document when amending their procedures and dealing with protected disclosures. The Department has also published useful resources for employers in the public and private sector and for workers making disclosures. 

4. Training

Training in the area of whistleblowing is a requirement for anyone dealing with protected disclosures, particularly if you hold the role of a designated person under the Act. ByrneWallace is a leading provider of training in the area of whistleblowing, providing training sessions to private sector employers, public sector employers and prescribed persons, and can tailor training sessions to specific requirements. Public sector employers also have the benefit of accessing our training services through the Protected Disclosures Training Framework for the public sector. Please contact for further details. 

We are also hosting a webinar on protected disclosures for clients and contacts at 12 noon on 1 February 2023 and further information on the webinar click here.