Statutory Obligations under Protected Disclosures Legislation

In July 2022, the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 was amended to transpose the EU Whistleblowing Directive into national law. The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 came into operation on 1 January 2023, providing updated legislation to protect workers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors from penalisation for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace.

Another key change in the legislation is the obligation on the employer to establish internal reporting channels. From 17 December 2023, all employers with between 50 - 249 employees will be required to establish formal reporting channels for their workers to report any relevant wrongdoings. A person or function within the organisation must be designated to operate the channel, and follow the procedures set out in the legislation regarding communication, timelines and feedback as outlined below:

  • All reports received must be acknowledged within 7 days
  • A diligent follow-up must be conducted on all reports
  • Feedback on actions taken or envisaged to be taken must be provided to the reporter within 3 months
  • Further feedback must be provided at 3 month intervals on request

Employers must promote the existence of the internal channel and ensure workers have access to the procedures under which it operates. Failure to establish reporting channels and have an internal whistleblowing procedure in place may result in criminal penalties.

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