On the 1st July 2019, reform for whistleblowing laws in Australia came into effect. These contain significant changes to the eligibility and protection of corporate whistleblowers, and introduced higher penalties for organisations that fail to meet the new requirements.
Organisations affected by the changes include public and large proprietary companies across all sectors including banks, general insurers, life insurers, and superannuation entities. Now that these changes have arrived, what do you need to do in order to ensure your organisation is compliant?
What you need to do:
Make sure you have a compliant whistleblowing policy
Once the new law comes into effect from 1st January 2020 all public companies and large proprietary companies in Australia must implement a compliant whistleblowing policy.
To meet the new regulations, the policy must contain:
- The protections available to whistleblowers;
- How and to whom an individual can make a disclosure;
- How the company will support and protect whistleblowers;
- How investigations into a disclosure will proceed;
- How the company will ensure fair treatment of employees who are mentioned in whistleblower disclosures;
- How the policy will be made available.
Ensure you can report whistleblowing securely and anonymously
Under the new rules, whistleblowers are no longer required to identify themselves. Secure and anonymous reporting ensures that employees can come forward with vital information without fear of reprisals or retaliation, as well as making you compliant with the regulations.
Undertake staff training
The new regulations are a significant change and all staff should be trained in how the new whistleblower regime works, how the whistleblower policy provides a process for disclosing, and the protections that will be provided to eligible whistleblowers. You should also consider training for managers who will be ‘eligible recipients’ for receiving disclosures from whistleblowers.
Use a coupled solution
By coupling a best-in-class policy management solution with comprehensive, feature-rich workflow automation and compliance monitoring, compliance managers and administrators can leverage a new, highly effective way to track and manage their whistleblowing policy.
To learn how our users are leveraging paired policy management + workflow automation to promote the granularity required by regulators for an effective compliance program? Contact us today.