Law & Regulation
Law & Regulation News
Law & Regulation News

Protected Disclosures Legislation

From 1st January 2023 the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2023 will commence.

The Act updates the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and transposes the EU Whistleblowing Directive into Irish law.

From 1 January 2023, the Act will:

  • Broaden the scope of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 in relation to reporting of breaches of European Union law.
  • Include protections for board members, shareholders, volunteers, unpaid trainees and job applicants who make a protected disclosure.
  • Require organisations with more than 50 employees to have policies and processes for protected disclosures.
  • Reverse the burden of proof for penalisation cases. This means the employer will need to prove that any alleged penalisation was not a direct result of the employee making a protected disclosure.

The new Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner will also commence operations on 1 January 2023.

New Law to Protect Employees Tips

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, has announced that the Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 comes into effect on 1 December 2022.

The new law gives employees a legal entitlement to receive tips and gratuities paid in electronic form and requires that these tips and gratuities should be paid to workers in a manner that is fair in the circumstances. Any charge called a ‘service charge’ or anything that would lead a customer to believe it is a charge for service, will have to be distributed to staff as if it were a tip or gratuity received by electronic means.

A fair distribution of tips will be context-specific, taking into account such matters as the seniority or experience of an employee, the value of sales generated by them, the number of hours worked, and so on.

The Act requires the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to review the legislation after it has been in effect for one year. This will allow the Minister to assess the effectiveness of the measures and assess whether any further measures are necessary.

This new law adds to other workers’ rights that the Government is introducing, which include Statutory Sick Pay, a new Public Holiday in February, the forthcoming Right to Request Remote Work and the move to a National Living Wage.

Right to Request Remote Work to be introduced through Work Life Balance Bill

The Government has approved the integration of the Right to Request Remote Work for all workers into the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill which is expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., together agreed that amending the Work Life Balance Bill is the most efficient and practical way to introduce the right to request remote work to all workers.

Integrating the Right to Request Remote Work for all workers into the Work Life Balance Bill means that employers and employees will now be making and considering requests for flexible or remote working under one piece of legislation and one Code of Practice to be developed by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). This will streamline the process and will help avoid inconsistencies and confusion.

Under the new legislation employees will have a legal right to request remote working from their employer. In addition, employers will now be required to have regard to the Code of Practice when considering requests. The Code of Practice will be established on a statutory footing and, it is expected that this Code will include guidance to employers and employees on their obligations regarding compliance.