New whistleblower protections expand who is protected and what they can disclose. This regime applies to regulated companies and financial service providers including banks, life companies, general insurers and superannuation funds.
More people are now protected whistleblowers
The new regime came into force on 1 July 2019 and creates the concept of an ‘eligible whistleblower’. This expands who can make a protected disclosure.
Under the old regime, just your current employees, officers and contractors were protected. Now protected disclosures can be made by your current and former:
If a person qualifies as an eligible whistleblower, their motivation for making a protected disclosure isn’t relevant. An eligible whistleblower just needs to meet the requirements for the type of disclosure they are making.
More types of disclosures can be made
The type of disclosures that can be made by whistleblowers has been expanded to include:
Protected disclosures can be made to a wide range of people
Protected disclosures can now be made to:
There are more protections for whistleblowers
Whistleblowers also have more protections including:
Anyone who breaches these protections may face substantial civil or criminal penalties.
If you’re a public or large proprietary company, you’ll need to develop and implement a whistleblower policy by 1 January 2020. ASIC is currently getting feedback on its draft Consultation Paper CP 321 which provides guidance for whistleblower policies.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll also need to think about what changes you need to make to your governance, risk and compliance framework for this new whistleblower regime. If you’d like to know more about what you need to have in place, get in touch. We’d be happy to help.