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Employment Law: Protected Disclosures (new Westlaw (New Zealand))

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Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022

The Act promotes the public interest by facilitating the disclosure and investigation of serious wrongdoing in the workplace, and provides protection for employees and other workers who report concerns. All workplaces are covered, although some provisions apply specifically to public sector organisations, and to public funds and functions.

Key changes in the 2022 Act are:

  • extending the definition of serious wrongdoing to cover private sector use of public funds and authority and to cover behaviour that is a serious risk to the health and safety of any individual;
  • allowing people to report serious wrongdoing directly to an appropriate authority at any time, while clarifying the ability of the appropriate authority to decline or refer the disclosure;
  • strengthening protections for disclosers by specifying what a receiver of a disclosure should do;
  • clarifying internal procedure requirements for public sector organisations and requiring them to state how they will provide support to disclosers;
  • clarifying the potential forms of adverse conduct disclosers may face.

Commentary has been added to Westlaw NZ in the following locations:

Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022, s 3  (purpose of Act). See [PDW3.01] – [PDW3.04]

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 4  (interpretation – changes to key terms). See [PDW4.01]

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 8  (meaning of discloser). See [PDW8.01]

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 10  (meaning of serious wrongdoing). See [PDW10.01]

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 11  (discloser’s entitlement to protection). See [PDW11.01] – [PDW11.03]

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 25  (meaning of appropriate authority). See [PDW25.01]

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