The Irish Whistleblower Protection Law

On 21st July 2022 a new whistleblower protection law came into force in Ireland for all public and private organisations with 50 or more employees. Download The Irish Protected Disclosures Act article to learn more.

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The Irish Whistleblower Protection Law

On 21st July2022 a new whistleblower protection law came into force in Ireland for all public and private organisations with 50 or more employees

In its implementation of the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive into national law, Ireland has overhauled whistleblower protection legislation provided under the existing Protected Disclosures Act 2014.

The new Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 transposes the EU Directive 2019/1937 by significantly expanding its scope to include whistleblower protection for volunteers, shareholders, board members and job applicants for the first time. The Bill also now applies to all public and private sector organisations with 50 or more employees that will be required to implement formal channels for employees to make protected disclosures.

For organisations with between 50 and 249 employees the Bill provides an extension to the deadline to 17th December 2023 to establish these formal channels

What does the new Irish whistleblower law cover?

The new Irish whistleblower protection law is based on the minimum standards of the EU Directive, which means companies are to comply with the following requirements:

  1. A secure and confidential channel for receiving whistleblower reports must be put in place
  2. Acknowledgment of the receipt of every report must be provided to the whistleblower within seven days
  3. An impartial person or department must be appointed to follow up on the reports
  4. Records must be kept of every report received
  5. There must be diligent follow-up of the report by the designated person or department
  6. Feedback about the follow-up/investigation must be given to the whistleblower within three months
  7. All processing of personal data must be done in accordance with the GDPR regulation

What are the new rules to protect whistleblowers against retaliation?

The newly amended Bill introduces several important changes that strengthens existing whistleblower protection.


  • The Bill introduces an obligation on all private organisations with 50 employees or more to establish formal reporting channels to make protected disclosures.
  • The new legislation extends the types of individuals protected under the Bill to include volunteers, board members, shareholders, unpaid trainees and job applicants.
  • Whistleblower protection is strengthened through reversal of the burden of proof in civil proceedings concerning allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers; expansion of interim relief measures to include acts of retaliation beyond dismissal; and criminal penalties for acts of retaliation.
  • The Bill requires enhanced data collection and publication provisions as regards the numbers of protected disclosures made.


The amended Bill introduces a wider framework to provide support and enforcement for the protection of whistleblowers in Ireland

While the Bill transposes the minimum standards set out under EU Directive, the new Irish protected Disclosures Act also provides a responsibility f or enforcement and support of the new requirements.

The requirements for organisations to establish formal reporting channels and procedures under the new Bill will be monitored and enforced by the Inspectorate of the Workplace Relations Commission. Employers will be required to acknowledge, follow-up and give feedback in respect of all reports received through these channels within the minimum timeframes outlined under the EU Directive.

In addition, a new Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner will be established in the Office of the Ombudsman to support the operation of the new legislation. When a whistleblower chooses to report externally to any of the prescribed persons listed under the Act, the Commissioner will direct protected disclosures to the most appropriate body when it is unclear which body is responsible to ensure all protected disclosures will be dealt with appropriately.

With this enactment of the legislation, the new Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner will be expected to commence operations by end of 2022.

You might also be interested in…

  • Watch our on-demand whistleblowing webinar to see how WhistleB helps organisations comply to EU whistleblower regulations including Ireland’s new law.
  • Download our guide to learn how our online whistleblowing solution helps you comply
  • Use our checklist to ensure you select a trustworthy whistleblowing service

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