Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Protected Disclosures in the Public Interest

Photo of Pádraig MacLochlainnPádraig MacLochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein)
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65. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the protections there are for whistle blowers in the private sector who are self employed/commercial agents as opposed to employees. [47212/13]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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Pending the enactment of the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013 the protections currently available for persons in the private sector who are self employed / commercial agents as opposed to employees depends on the provisions of the sectoral statute under which the whistleblower makes his or her disclosure and, in particular, the definition of the term ‘employee’ contained therein.

The Protected Disclosures Bill 2013, which recently passed Committee Stage in Seanad Éireann proposes to amend sixteen sectoral statutes containing protected disclosure provisions. The effect of these amendments will be to ensure that disclosures made under a relevant sectoral statute which are protected under the Protected Disclosures Bill will fall to be dealt with under the Protected Disclosures Bill rather than the original sectoral legislation.

The definition of ‘worker’ contained in the Protected Disclosures Bill extends beyond that of ‘employee’ contained in the sectoral provisions and encompasses the widest possible range of contractual arrangements including contracts of service and contracts for the provision of services.

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