Our firm is committed to dealing responsibly, openly and professionally with any concerns partners or team members may have about possible malpractice within the firm.
Strong values have been at the heart of our organisation since its creation. One of our core values is integrity and our whistleblowing policy is fundamental to the maintaining this integrity. In addition, it reinforces the value the firm places on staff to be honest and respected members of their individual professions.
To ensure accountability and transparency it is important to have a mechanism that enables all individuals to voice concerns internally in a responsible and effective manner when they discover information which they believe shows serious malpractice. Our whistleblowing policy provides a method of properly addressing bona fide concerns that individuals within the firm might have, while also offering whistleblower’s protection from victimisation, harassment or disciplinary proceedings.
This policy has been designed in line with the terms of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (the “Act”), which sets out the framework for whistleblowing in Ireland. Further details of Protected Disclosures is found at Appendix 1 of Whistleblowing Policy.
Who does this policy apply to?
The policy applies to all partners and staff, including those on permanent or fixed term contracts, to agency staff, consultants and contractors and to those on work experience.
What types of concerns are covered under this policy?
Whistleblowing is the confidential disclosure by an individual of any concern encountered in the workplace relating to a perceived risk, malpractice or wrongdoing. The firm considers examples of such wrongdoing or malpractice to include:
General malpractice – such as immoral, illegal or unethical conduct
Danger to health and safety
Danger to the environment
Breach of a legal obligation
Negligence on the part of the firm
Financial misconduct of the firm or any of its employee
Bribery and corruption
Potential infractions of audit (or other applicable) regulations
Potential infractions of the codes of conduct of all relevant professional institutions
A whistleblower making a “protected disclosure” under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is given statutory protection (see appendix 1 – What is the Protected Disclosure Act 2014?). However protection for whistleblowers under the Act does not cover all incidences of wrongdoing you may be concerned with (see appendix 1 – What is a relevant wrongdoing?).
This policy does not cover concerns or complaints about your own personal employment position. These concerns should be raised through the firm’s grievance procedure.
Protections under this policy
All staff members are protected from victimisation, harassment or disciplinary action as a result of any disclosure, where the disclosure is made in good faith and is not made maliciously or for personal gain. Where disclosures are made in the public interest, staff will have statutory protection in Ireland under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (see Appendix 1).
Any disclosures will be investigated fully including interviews with all the witnesses and other parties involved.
The identity of the whistleblower will be protected at all stages in any internal matter. While the firm can provide internal anonymity, it cannot guarantee this will be retained if external legal action flows from the disclosure. The firm is not accountable for maintaining anonymity where the whistleblower has told others of the alleged misdemeanour.
Whilst the firm encourages whistleblowers to identify themselves, anonymous calls will nevertheless be taken seriously and investigated fully. However, the effectiveness of any whistleblowing enquiry may be limited where an individual chooses not to be identified.
Process for dealing with whistleblowing disclosures
Individuals may raise a concern through various channels:
The partner in charge of their service line.
The partner in charge of their office or region.
If the matter is of a compliance nature, to the compliance director.
If the matter relates to money laundering or bribery to the Money Laundering Reporting Officer Lorcan Colclough.
Concerns relating to an employment issue may be directed to the HR manager or HR director.
If these contacts are unavailable, or if the whistleblower is concerned about making a disclosure to any of the above, they may make a disclosure to:
Head of human resources
All whistleblowing disclosures made to the parties above will be treated as confidential and will be reported to the head of human resources.
The whistleblower should make it clear that they are making their disclosure within the terms of the firm’s whistleblowing policy. This will ensure the recipient of the disclosure realises this and takes the necessary action to investigate the disclosure and to protect the whistleblower’s identity.
The Whistleblower can also make reports by mail. Postal reports (named or anonymous) should be sent to the Head of human resources, Mazars, Harcourt Centre, Block 3, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2, D02 A339, Ireland. Reports should be marked private and confidential, with the reference ‘Whistleblowing’.
Employees and external parties concerned about speaking to a member of staff can speak, in confidence, to an independent third party, Safecall. The Safecall service is available 24/7 365 days via the number below and allows you to speak to someone in your preferred language.
There will be no adverse consequences for anyone who reports a whistleblowing concern.
The following actions may be taken after investigation of the concern:
Disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal) against the wrongdoer dependent on the results of the investigation.
No action if the allegation proves unfounded.
The whistleblower will be kept informed of progress and the outcome of the investigation, within the constraints of maintaining confidentiality or observing legal restrictions generally, including who is handling the matter, if internal, how they can contact them and if further assistance required.
If the whislteblower feels that having exhausted all channels and that the matter still has not been properly investigated by the firm, there are various prescribed bodies with whom they can raise their concerns. Examples of these organisations are:
A central record of all whistleblowing allegations will be held by the ethics partner who will report on the outcome of investigations to the national executive and to the firm’s independent non-executives.
Where a party wishes to make a complaint regarding our service please contact our managing partner at:
Passing on a family business may not be as fraught a process as that portrayed in the Sky TV hit series Succession, but it can be difficult and hazardous for even the smallest of businesses. Planning early and putting a formal agreement in place is key to a good outcome when handing over a business to the next generation.
The European Parliament approved the Pay Transparency Directive in April 2023, adding significant power to Irish Gender Pay Gap (GPG) legislation. As a result, employers need to prepare for the impact of this legislation, or risk being identified and fined.
This privacy statement is effective as and from 25 May 2018. This statement describes how we process your personal information. Please take the time to read it carefully. You have a number of rights in relation to your information including the right to object to processing of your personal information where that processing is carried out for our legitimate interests. In this statement we use the terms “we” and “our” to refer to Mazars.