15 July 2015
Colm Ó’hOisÍn SC, Lauren Kierans BL, Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform,
John Devitt, Chief Executive of Transparency International and Marguerite Bolger SC, pictured at the
launch of the Irish Whistleblowing Law Society (IWLS).
Workers can raise issues of genuine public interest without fear of sanction, according to a new group that hosted an event to mark the first anniversary of the passage of legislation that protects whistleblowers.
The event, ‘Blowing the Whistle, The Protected Disclosures Act 2014: One Year On’, was held on Wednesday 14th July 2015, in the Bar Council Distillery Building in Dublin.
It was organised by the Irish Whistleblowing Law Society (IWLS) - a scholarly society, launched at the event, dedicated to fostering knowledge, interest and awareness in all aspects of whistleblowing law.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, was the keynote speaker. The whistleblower legislation encourages employees to raise genuine and reasonably held concerns about matters of public interest, free of threat of sanction. The legislation includes all employees, contractors, agency workers, members of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces.
Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform speaking at the event to mark the first
anniversary of the passage of legislation that protects whistleblowers.
The Protected Disclosures Act provides for the availability of interim relief if an employee is dismissed after a whistleblowing disclosure and compensation of up to five years’ salary. The legislation also includes strong protections against the disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity.
Under the Act, employers are legally barred from victimising or dismissing staff for making protected disclosures. Whistleblowers who are unfairly dismissed for making a protected disclosure will be able to seek a court order preventing the employer taking them off the payroll while a case is being heard.
The chief executive of Transparency International, John Devitt, joined Minister Howlin and Lauren Kierans BL, a barrister specialising in whistleblower law, as a speaker at the event which was chaired by Marguerite Bolger, SC.