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.