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Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath, TD, signed the decree opening the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022. The ordinance sets January 1, 2023 as the date on which the law will come into force in its entirety.
From the outset, all private sector organizations with 250 or more employees are required to establish formal reporting channels and procedures for workers to make protected disclosures. The threshold does not apply to employers who are public bodies or who fall within the scope of certain European Union legislation, in particular with regard to financial services, products, markets, prevention of money laundering of money and the financing of terrorism, transport security and the protection of the environment. These employers, whatever their size, must also respect the obligations contained in the law from January 1, 2023.
The new Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner will also take office on January 1, 2023. The Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Ger Deering, will be the first Protected Disclosures Commissioner. In setting the effective date of January 1, 2023, the minister said he was giving employers and the new commissioner enough time to make the necessary arrangements to ensure compliance with the law.
Employers should review existing policies on protected disclosures to ensure they are fully up to date and compliant with new legislation.
Failure to comply with certain obligations contained in the law are designated as offenses subject to significant penalties. For more information on the law, see our detailed briefing here.
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.
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