Volunteers, unpaid trainees, board members, shareholders and job applicants of Ireland within the scope of the Protected Disclosures Act

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Michael McGrath TD, today published the General Scheme of the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill following approval by Government earlier this week.

The purpose of this Bill is to provide for the transposition of the EU Whistleblowing Directive into Irish law. Ireland is one of just 10 EU Member States to already have comprehensive legal protections for whistleblowers in the form of the Protected Disclosures Act. The Act will be amended to give effect to the Directive and to further enhance and strengthen the protections it provides.

This means that, volunteers, unpaid trainees, board members, shareholders and job applicants will all come within the scope of the Protected Disclosures Act for the first time.

Private sector organisations with 50 or more employees will be required to establish formal channels and procedures for their employees to make protected disclosures, just like the public sector.Employers and prescribed persons who receive protected disclosures will be required to acknowledge them and follow-up on the allegations made and give feedback to the reporting person within three months.

A Protected Disclosures Office will be established in the Office of the Ombudsman to support the operation of the Act in relation to reporting to prescribed persons and Government Ministers.

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