NEW LAWS SET TO GIVE PROTECTION TO WOULD-BE WHISTLEBLOWERS
New laws taking effect today offer up to five years’ pay for whistleblowers who are unfairly dismissed from their job.
The legislation offers coverage to all employees, contractors, agency workers, gardaí and Defence Forces personnel who want to make disclosures about their employer.
There is also scope for the protection of any disclosure made before the laws take effect.
The Bill removes any good faith or public interest test – which could otherwise act as a deterrent to would-be whistleblowers.
Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, whistleblowers will be entitled to strong protections against their identity being revealed.
They will have access to the industrial relations machinery of the State for securing redress against penalisation.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin says the State is determined to make sure the new system works properly.
“We’ve been talking to employers, we’ve been talking to trade unions as well – so that people will understand their rights, will understand that the old idea of circling the way (and) saying nothing when you see wrong-doing is not the way of the future” he said.