Following its recent approval by Government I expect that the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013, will be published this week. The Bill will provide a single overarching framework protecting whistleblowers in all sectors of the economy by ensuring that safeguards exist where reprisals are taken against them by their employers. The objective is to encourage workers to raise genuine concerns concerning potential wrongdoing in the workplace with a view to ensuring that employers can take ameliorating action at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Bill establishes a broad range of potential wrongdoings to which the disclosure must relate and a number of distinct disclosure channels including to an employer, a prescribed person, the Minister responsible for a public body, a legal adviser or otherwise potentially to the public domain. Special disclosure channels will apply in the case of external disclosures relating to law enforcement, security, intelligence, defence and international relations matters. The Bill will therefore provide a detailed and comprehensive statutory framework for the protection of, and securing redress for workers, who suffer penalisation at the hands of their employer for having made a protected disclosure.