Changes to whistleblower requirements for businesses

whistle

From 1 January 2020, public companies, large proprietary companies and some superannuation entities are required to have a Whistleblower Policy. These must contain information about the legal protections which will be afforded to any whistleblowers and outline how the company will investigate disclosure. Even if your business doesn’t fall into one of these groups, it’s often a good idea to have such procedures in place.

What is Whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is the disclosure by organisation members (former or current) of illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers to persons that may be able to effect action.

Is my Company a ‘Large Proprietary Company’?

From financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2019, a proprietary company is defined as ‘large’ for a financial year if it satisfies at least two of the below criteria:

  • the consolidated revenue for the financial year of the company and any entities it controls is $50 million or more
  • the value of the consolidated gross assets at the end of the financial year of the company and any entities it controls is $25 million or more, and
  • the company and any entities it controls have 100 or more employees at the end of the financial year.

If the company does not meet at least two of the above criteria, it is ‘small’, and therefore is not required by law to have a Whistleblower Policy in place (although they may elect to have one regardless).

What must the Policy contain?

Whistleblower Policies must contain information about the legal protections which will be afforded to any whistleblowers and outline how the company will investigate disclosures and protect the whistleblower from detriment.

The Chamber has prepared a sample Whistleblower Policy which is available to our Workplace Relations members free of charge and to non-WR members for a small fee of $100+GST.  It’s an easy, effective way to ensure you comply with this new law.

We also have a collection of other policies and procedures available, including Code of Conduct, Disciplinary Policy, Leave Policy and Social Media Policy, amongst many others.

Contact our WR team today at wradvice@canberrabusiness.com or 1300 277 881

Not a Workplace Relations member yet? Contact the Chamber to discuss your options on 02 6247 4199. More about membership here.