Whistleblower protection reform is imminent: Boards take note

  • Federal Parliament is in the process of passing laws which will change how companies deal with whistleblowers.
  • If implemented in their current form, the new laws will impose significant new compliance requirements on public and large private companies.
  • The appropriate management of whistleblowers and their disclosures must be understood at a cultural level throughout an organisation.

Businessperson with shadow on the wall in the shape of a whistle

Whistleblowers are not often loved by the organisations which are exposed by their revelations. For that reason, there are laws that are meant to protect certain categories of whistleblower from reprisals when they disclose information that reveals wrongdoing.

Whistleblower protection laws applying to the corporate and finance sector in Australia are undergoing substantial reforms, which are likely to come into effect very soon.1 They will introduce broader remedies and protection for people who disclose misconduct by any company to which the Corporations Act 2001(Corporations Act) applies. Banks, insurers and superannuation trustees will also be affected.

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