2014 introduced a number of legislative changes and this note highlights just three of them and also refers to two significant changes due to commence in 2015.

Whistleblower Protection

The introduction of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 means that statutory whistle-blower protection legislation is now in place since July 2014. Have you put procedures in place to enable whistleblowing to occur in your workplace in light of this development?

The main requirement is that a worker is not penalised for making a protected disclosure. The consequences of a successful unfair dismissal claim on the termination of employment as a result of making a protected disclosure will result in an award of up to 5 times the worker's remuneration. It would be best to have a whistle blowing procedure in place that reflects the legislation.

Reimbursement of social welfare payments

Changes to the manner in which the Department of Social Protection is reimbursed where a claimant is successful in a claim against the perpetrator (which would include an employer) in a personal injuries claim have been introduced by the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 and came into effect in August 2014.

The compensator must reimburse the Department of Social Protection directly under the Recoverable Benefits and Assistance Scheme. This means that you must remember to consider how much has to be refunded by your business to the Department of Social Protection when offering a settlement. You will need sight of the statement of recoverable benefits – which will show the amount owing to the Department which must be reimbursed as part of any settlement or award.