News & Media

Explanation needed from Tusla on whistleblower treatment

21 October 2019

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour Children and Youth Affairs spokesperson Seán Sherlock has called on Tusla to explain the treatment of a whistleblower whose employment was terminated despite it being recommended that they remain on payroll, as revealed in the Irish Examiner today.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“It is deeply worrying that a whistleblower in Tusla who made a formal complaint had their employment terminated when they thought they were being put on paid leave. The way it was handled also meant the person concerned was unable to secure social welfare benefits.

“It is reported that the complaint was worthy of investigation following the recommendation of an independent third party. The issues around procurement, and how cash withdrawals are handled is concerning.

“Tusla need to clarify what happened here, and why the recommendation of the Director of Quality Assurance was not followed by Human Resources.

“The way this person was treated will have the direct impact of alarming and warning off other potential whistleblowers because of the impact of raising concerns would have on their career. This is not how the Protected Disclosures Act is meant to be used.

“Despite the independent third party expressing concerns about the impact on the whistleblower’s welfare it appears nothing was done about it.

“The whistleblower had been told that a recommendation was made to HR that they remain on payroll pending the outcome of the investigation. We now need to know why this wasn’t done.”