Why firms could pay a heavy price if they fail to prepare for new whistleblowing law
IRELAND'S new whistleblowing legislation, the Protected Disclosures Bill, was passed by the Seanad on July 1, has gone to the President for signing and will be enacted this summer. It will protect workers from being penalised for "whistleblowing" – disclosing information about criminal offences, failure to comply with the law, miscarriages of justice, the destruction or concealment of information and other alleged wrongdoings.
Whilst there is existing Irish legislation protecting whistle-blowers in certain sectors, this new legislation will cover all sectors and provide more protection. However, the Bill also raises serious questions about how prepared Ireland is for such a radical legislative change.
Recent high-profile media stories have served to highlight the absence of a strong whistleblowing culture in Ireland and this Bill certainly appears to be an attempt to address this.