Since 1 January 2023, Ireland’s new whistleblowing legislation, the Protected Disclosures Act 2022 (“the Act”) is now law. This new legislation made significant changes to the operation of the legal framework for the protection of whistleblowers in Ireland, the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.
The purpose of the Act is to provide a framework within which workers including employees, former employees, agency staff, contractors, interns, trainees, volunteers, consultants and job applicants can raise concerns regarding potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the workplace. It is a criminal offence to subject them to any form of “penalisation” (such as losing their job or any other form of unfair / adverse treatment as a result of having made a protected disclosure).
There is also a strict requirement in the legislation that the identity of a whistleblower must be protected. It is a criminal offence to breach this strict requirement.
South Dublin County Council has put in place a Policy and Procedure for Protected Disclosures. Through this policy and procedure we intend to foster a culture and work environment that encourages and supports persons to make reports while safe in the knowledge that:
- their concerns will be taken seriously;
- their concerns will be diligently investigated, where appropriate; and
- their confidentiality will be respected.
A wide definition of wrongdoing is contained within the Act:
- that a criminal offence has been, is being or is likely to be committed,
- that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contracts whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services,
- that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
- that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
- that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged,
- that unlawful or otherwise improper use of funds or resources of a public body, or of other public money, has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
- that an act or omission by or on behalf of a public body is oppressive, discriminatory or grossly negligent or constitutes gross mismanagement, or
- that an act or omission by or on behalf of a public body has been or is in breach of EU law, or
- that information tending to show any matter falling within any of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be concealed or destroyed.
This policy applies to all South Dublin County Council workers including employees, former employees, agency staff, contractors, interns, trainees, volunteers, consultants and job applicants.
The policy highlights that it is always appropriate to raise concerns when they are based on a reasonable belief irrespective of whether any wrongdoing is in fact subsequently identified and provides workers with guidance on how to raise concerns.
Protected Disclosures 2022
Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires the publication of an annual report to provide an update on Protected Disclosures received.
Pursuant to this requirement, South Dublin County Council hereby confirms that no reports were received in 2022.
Designated Officer to receive disclosures
In accordance with the Protected Disclosure Act 2014, the Council has appointed Michael Murtagh, Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Performance and Change Management to receive protected disclosures. Contact details for the designated officer are set out below:
Post: Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Performance and Change Management, County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Phone: 01 414 9000
For further information