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Whistleblowing Legislation and Practice Ireland Essay Sample 

This essay sample is based on the protected disclosure of whistleblowers of information in the workplace.

Whistleblowing is an act of disclosure of information that states any wrong actions and doing at the workplace. It mainly discloses any unlawful or illegal activities that take place in the organization.

This can include acts of sexual harassment, health and safety risks of the workers in the organization, misappropriation of funds, illegal funds transfer transactions, the unlawful policy of employment, etc.

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It will highlight mainly the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014 of Ireland which is legislation meant for the whistleblowers. It protects the people who raise questions and concerns regarding wrongdoing in the workplace. It is called as whistleblowing legislation.

This Act ensures redressal of dismissed or penalized workers who had reported wrongdoings at the workplace.

The word ‘Worker’ can include the ex and present employees of the organization, contractual worker, worker agency, independent contracts but not volunteers of local bodies.

‘Wrongdoing’ reported by whistleblowers under the Protection Disclosure Act, 2014 (Ireland) 

If a worker discloses any vital and important information in a particular way and is found to be relevant to disclose any actual ‘wrongdoing’ in the organization. Then in such a case, the Protected Disclosure Act will provide protection to the workers.

The following activities can be included under the ‘wrongdoing’ under this Act. It includes –

  • Any failure to comply with any legal provisions and obligations.
  • Any offences of criminal nature or illegal activities being committed in the workplace.
  • Misuse of funds and doing any illegal monetary transactions.
  • Trying to conceal or hide any relevant documents and information supporting any ‘wrongdoing of a person.
  • Risks of safety and health of the employees at the workplace.
  • Direct damage caused to the workplace environment.
  • Oppressive, discriminatory, and a mismanaged act or omission by a public body.

This act of ‘wrongdoing’ is only applicable to a person inside the organization but not outside of it. Such a person outside the organization is not protected under this Act.

If it is found that any information of wrongdoing is turn out to be false but made with a reasonable belief of its truth. Even then such a person will be protected under this Act.

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Persons to whom concerns are reported by the whistleblowers 

Concerns of an employee are either related to the working conditions, work procedures, and terms and conditions of employment.

There are various ways through which concern can be reported to an employer, a third person, or to a prescribed person.

Disclosure to the employer

Any relevant information on illegal transactions of funds or any other unlawful activities or any ‘wrongdoing ‘can be reported to the employer on such occurring. Such information can also be reported by a public body organization to a relevant minister.

Disclosure to the prescribed person

Such concerns or any other relevant information regarding such wrongdoing can be reported to one of the prescribed persons listed in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (Disclosure to Prescribed Person) Order 2020.

The list will help the person to choose the appropriate prescribed person to whom any allegations of a department can be reported.

Disclosure to an external person

  • Whenever important information or concern is being reported to a third person. We have to ensure that it is of a reasonable nature and made with a truthful intention.
  • There should be no scope of personal gain on communicating such information to a third party.
  • Public disclosure should be made in all circumstances to be reasonable.

One of the below-written conditions must be met for reporting concern to an external party.

  • Such disclosure should only be made when there is a reasonable belief that such disclosure to the employer, prescribed person, or Minister could penalize the worker.
  • When there is no relevant to report to, any such information regarding wrongdoing can easily be destroyed if reported directly to the employer.
  • When any such concern was reported before to the employer, Minister or to the prescribed person.
  • If the nature of wrongdoing is very serious.

Other Irish legislations for whistleblowers 

  • Health Act, 2007 was enacted for the employees and healthcare staff in the healthcare sector. It protects the employees and members of the public from any disclosure of information and wrongdoing.
  • Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 which provides protection to the person reporting child abuse and their victimization.
  • Charities Act, 2009 was enacted for the purpose of breach of legislation to the Charities Regulation Authority.

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