The Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) protects certain whistleblower activities, and protects whistleblowers from persecution. These protections are designed to encourage people within companies, or with special connections to companies, to alert ASIC and other authorities to illegal behaviour.
From 1 July 2019, the whistleblower protections in the Corporations Act will be expanded to provide greater protections for whistleblowers. This will include requiring certain companies to have a whistleblower policy from 1 January 2020.
Summary of the reforms
Information for whistleblowers
Read our Information Sheet 52 Guidance for whistleblowers (INFO 52) which will help you understand who is considered to be a whistleblower and what kinds of protection whistleblowers may be entitled to under the current protections in the Corporations Act.
Information for company officeholders and company auditors
Company officers, company auditors and other persons have legal obligations under the Corporations Act if they receive a revelation from a whistleblower. Unless those persons handle the revelation correctly they may inadvertently breach the Corporations Act if they tell an unauthorised third party, including other officers of the company or the audit partner. Any unauthorised revelation may trigger significant civil and criminal consequences.
For company officeholders
For company auditors
Whistling while they work is a Griffith University research project looking at improving managerial responses to whistleblowing in public and private sector organisations.
|Listen to a podcast on protecting whistleblowers with ASIC Commissioner John Price.|
You can also read his speech on encouraging whistleblowers.