The new Federal whistleblower law took effect on 1 July 2019.  This new law is applicable for all public companies and large proprietary companies* requiring them to put in place a whistleblower policy to adopt this new law.

This new law will apply if a person discloses information about wrongdoing by an applicable entity with the whistleblower themselves protected if they meet the criteria set out by the new law.

Protection for whistleblowers will be in the form of maintaining their confidentiality and prevention from suffering or being threatened with detriment.  Whistleblowers will also have the ability to seek compensation if they suffer loss, damage or injury from making their disclosure.

The protection covers current and former employees, company officers, contractors and the spouses and dependants of these parties.

Relevant organisations must have a whistleblower policy in place before 1 January 2020 or they may face substantial fines for non-compliance.

The new law brings with it a range of significant penalties for breaching the laws.

If you think that this new law is relevant to you and your organisation, we recommend that you contact your HR advisor or legal advisor for further assistance to ensure you are compliant within the required timeframe.

*Large proprietary companies include a company that has at least one of the two following criteria:

  • consolidated revenue in excess of $50 million;
  • consolidated gross assets of more than $25 million; or
  • at least 100 employees within the company and the entities it controls.

 

Disclaimer: this information is of a general nature and should not be viewed as representing financial advice. Users of this information are encouraged to seek further advice if they are unclear as to the meaning of anything contained in this article. Davidsons accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered as a result of any party using or relying on this article