Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Protected Disclosures Policy and Procedure

The Protective Disclosure Act 2014 underpins this policy and provides a framework where staff can raise concerns regarding potential wrongdoings that has come to their attention while working in Tusla in the knowledge that they can avail of significant employment protections.

What is a “Protected Disclosure”?

A Protected Disclosure is defined in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 as a disclosure of relevant information related to wrongdoing made by a worker in the manner specified under the Act.  For the purposes of the Act, information is “relevant” if:

  • In the reasonable belief of the worker it tends to show one or more ‘relevant wrongdoings’ and
  • It came to the attention of the worker in connection with the worker’s employment.

A  Protected Disclosure involves the disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, shows that one or more of the following relevant wrongdoings has been committed or is likely to be committed:

  • Unlawful or improper use of public funds or resources
  • Financial misconduct or fraud
  • Corruption, bribery or blackmail
  • Failure to comply with any legal obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contract whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services
  • Endangerment of the health or safety of any individual
  • Damage to the environment
  • The commission of an offence
  • Miscarriage of justice
  • Gross negligence or gross mismanagement by public bodies
  • The concealment of any of the above.

All employees are encouraged to raise genuine concerns about possible wrongdoing at the earliest opportunity, and in an appropriate way.  If a worker makes a disclosure and feels they have been penalised as a result of making a disclosure, then that complaint will be dealt with in accordance with Section 14 the Protective Disclosure Policy.

Matters relating to personal grievances are dealt with through existing Tusla policies. For example, where a worker feels that there has been a breach of their own terms and conditions, this type of complaint would be dealt with under the Grievance Procedure. Alternatively, a worker may feel that they are being bullied or harassed by a colleague. This type of complaint should generally be dealt with under the Dignity at Work procedure.

Please email qa@tusla.ie if you require more information regarding Protective Disclosures.

It is noted that SI 367/2020 being signed into law on 24 September 2020, allows for the making of disclosures to the CEO under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 by all workers in relation to the matters listed below;

(a) All matters relating to the registration, supervision and inspection of early years services under Part VIIA of the Child Care Act 1991 (No. 17 of 1991) and regulations made under that Act.

(b) All matters relating to the registration and inspection of children’s residential centres under Part VIII of the Child Care Act 1991 and regulations made under that Act.

(c) All matters relating to the registration of children in receipt of education in a place other than a recognised school and the carrying out of assessments under section 14 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 (No. 22 of 2000).

Protected Disclosures Policy and Procedure - A Guide to Whistleblowing on Alleged Wrongdoing

Protected Disclosures Reporting Form

Investigation of a Disclosures Checklist

Protected Disclosures Annual Reports 

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