Protections for whistleblowers get the nod

The whistleblower amendment bill1 has been passed by the House of Representatives today (19 February 2019) which now only requires Royal Assent before it becomes operational and is expected to commence mid 2019.

The new Act2 requires both listed and large proprietary companies (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) to have a whistleblower policy.

Further, entities that are governed by various other acts3 applicable to the corporate, financial, insurance, superannuation and tax sectors will, as a result of the passage of the Act, also be subject to the large number of new governance requirements resulting from the strengthened whistleblower protections and remedies under the Act.4

Entities that fail to implement a whistleblower policy or breach requirements of the new Act5 risk facing offences of strict liability and significant penalties under the Act.6

In addition to introducing a whistleblower policy, entities will also be obliged to put into place training and reporting protocols and procedures. Affected entities have no time to wait and should take immediate action to ensure compliance.

If you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Kirk on 9288 6906 or Michele Ryan on 9288 6719.

19 February 2019
Corporate Updates
AUTHOR
Derek La Ferla
Partner
AUTHOR
Daniel Kirk
Partner
AUTHOR
Michele Ryan
Senior Associate
SERVICES
Corporate Services


FOOTNOTES

[1] Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017 (Bill).

[2] Enhancing Whistleblower Protections Amendment Act 2019 (Cth) (Act).

[3] Entities governed by the following Acts must be ready with new governance protocols:
The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth);
The ASIC Act 2001 (Cth);
The Banking Act 1959 (Cth);
The Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (Cth);
The Insurance Act 1973 (Cth);
The Life Insurance Act 1995 (Cth);
The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth); or
The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth).

[4] Enhancing Whistleblower Protections Amendment Act 2019 (Cth) (Act).

[5] Enhancing Whistleblower Protections Amendment Act 2019 (Cth) (Act).

[6] Enhancing Whistleblower Protections Amendment Act 2019 (Cth) (Act).