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Whistleblower Rights and Protections – New obligations on employers from 1 January 2023.

The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 came into effect from 1 January 2023. It changed or amended the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. This Act protects workers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors from retaliation if they speak up or raise concerns in relation to wrongdoing in the workplace. A worker cannot be treated unfairly or lose their job because they have made what is known legally as “protected disclosure”. In general a person who raises a protected disclosure is known as a whistleblower.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 as amended by the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022, protects workers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors from retaliation.

The new legislation imposes new requirements on employers in both the public and private sectors and also for prescribed persons. These requirements are summarised here:

Internal Reporting Challenges and Procedures

  1. All organisations with 250 or more employees must establish internal channels and procedures for their workers to report wrongdoing.
  2. From 17th December 2023, the requirement to set up internal channels or procedures will apply to all organisations who employ 50 or more employees.
  3. If an organisation is involved in (and subject to EU law and regulation) in the area of financial services; prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; transport safety; and safety of offshore gas and oil operations, then they must establish internal channels regardless of size.
  4. All public sector organisations must establish internal channels regardless of size.
  5. Reporting channels should ensure the confidentiality of the reporting person and any other person(s) named in any report made.
  6. If a person is designated as a reporting person to assist the person making the protected disclosure, they should have sufficient independence and authority within the organisation to carry out the functions specified in the Act. The person should also be adequately trained in the handling of reports.
  7. Employers should make the existence of any reporting channel known to workers and ensure they have access to the procedures under which it operates. They can outsource the reporting channel if they wish.

Procedures for Internal reporting

Any internal procedure must include:

  1. Acknowledgement of all reports, received in writing, within 7 days
  2. Follow up on all reports received
  3. Feedback must be given to the reporting person on actions taken or those proposed to be taken in follow up within 3 months
  4. Further feedback should be given to the reporting person at three month intervals upon request
  5. A statement of policy as regards the conditions, if any, under which anonymous reports will be followed-up.
  6. Information should be provided on how to report externally to a prescribed person or the Protected Disclosures Commissioner.

Provision of information on how to report externally to a prescribed person or the Protected Disclosures Commissioner.


  1. It is an offence if there is a failure to comply with the requirement to establish and operate internal reporting channels and procedures
  2. If an offence is committed by a” “body corporate” or company, and it is proved that it was committed by or with assistance/consent of a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate, that person as well as the body corporate shall be liable to br proceeded against as if they committted for first offence.
  3. The Workplace Relations Commission can prosecute these summary offences or proceedingss

The Government have produced a very useful guide on the new Act and a copy can be found here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/e20b61-protected-disclosures-act-guidance-for-public-bodies/

We appreciate that some of the language used in the new Act and guides can sometimes be confusing. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the office in Wicklow or Dublin.

Protected Disclosures (Ame

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