Protected disclosures

A protected disclosure is a disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of a worker, tends to show one or more relevant wrongdoings that came to the attention of the worker in a work-related context and is disclosed in the manner outlined in the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 as amended by the Protected Disclosures Act 2022 (the 2014 Act and the 2022 Act, respectively).

A worker may make a protected disclosure in certain circumstances to a ‘prescribed person’, while availing of significant employment and other protections if they are penalised by their employer for doing so. However, in order to avail of the protections, a protected disclosure must come within the definition of a protected disclosure as outlined in the legislation.

The Pensions Regulator has been prescribed under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 to receive protected disclosures in respect all matters relating to the monitoring and supervision of the operation of the Pensions Act 1990.

Relevant wrongdoings

A worker can make a protected disclosure if they reasonably believe that a relevant wrongdoing which relates to the following has occurred:

  • Criminal offences.
  • Failure to comply with a legal obligation.
  • Miscarriages of justice.
  • Endangerment of health and safety.
  • Damage to the environment.
  • Unlawful or improper use of public funds.
  • Oppressive, discriminatory behaviour or behaviour that constitutes gross mismanagement by a public body.
  • Breaches of EU law.
  • Concealing or destroying evidence.

It should be recognised that it is not mandatory for a worker to make a protected disclosure, however the 2014 Act or the 2022 Act does not absolve a worker from any pre-existing mandatory reporting obligations set out in legislation, such as those contained in the Pensions Act.

How to make a protected disclosure to the Pensions Regulator

If you wish to make a protected disclosure, you can do so by emailing Details that should be included in a disclosure are set out in our “Policy and procedure for protected disclosures made by an external person” in the related files area.