Following more than 12 months of passage through Parliament, new Federal whistleblower laws were enacted on 19 March 2019.
On 4 April this law was modified, resulting in the new law taking effect on 1 July 2019.
The Whistleblower Laws introduced:
expanded whistleblower protections regarding all Australian companies;
a requirement for larger Australian companies to introduce a Whistleblower Policy; and
new significant penalties for breaches of whistleblower protections, ranging up to $10.5million.
Who can make whistleblower disclosures under the new laws?
The category of persons who can make disclosures protected by the laws is now expanded to include employees, officers and suppliers of companies as well as their family members.
Disclosures may now be made anonymously and can still be protected by the laws.
Which entities are covered by the laws?
companies registered under the Corporations Act 2001;
life insurance companies; and
superannuation entities or trustees.