Once enacted, the new Treasury Laws Amendment will extend protections afforded to whistleblowers in the financial, credit and corporate sectors. This legislation will apply to any reports made by whistleblowers on or after July 1, 2018.
Under the current rules, a person only qualifies for whistleblower protection if he or she meets criteria such as:
- Having a role as an officer, employee or contractor of a company
- Making non-anonymous disclosures to ASIC, the auditor of the company or a senior manager or officer of the company in good faith
- Having reasonable grounds to suspect the company or one of its employees or officers violated the Corporations Act
Some of the changes that will be implemented with this new legislation include:
- Increasing whistleblower extensions for a wider variety of people, including former employees, suppliers and associates of a company, as well as the relatives or dependents of such a person
- Broadening categories of recipients who can get a protected disclosure from a whistleblower
- Allowing for anonymous disclosure of whistleblower information
- Removing the burden on the whistleblower to prove they were acting in good faith
- Expanding the scope of issues a whistleblower can disclose to include bribery, fraud, corporate corruption, terrorist financing, money laundering and other forms of misconduct
- Adding an “emergency disclosure” in which a whistleblower is allowed to disclose information to a third party (such as a journalist) if there is “imminent risk” of danger or harm to public safety or health, or to the financial system
For further information on these legal changes and how they could affect your whistleblower claim, work with an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.