Government encouraging whistleblowing with greater protections in place

A new Bill has passed the Senate giving greater protections to whistleblowers. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2018 significantly improve the protections for people reporting company misconduct.

The reforms include:

  • The whistleblower definition includes current and former employees, officers and contractors, their partners and children, and anonymous informants.

  • Protections have been extended for whistleblower reports alleging misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances involving financial sector law or any offence that is punishable by 12 months or more of prison time.

  • Civil penalty provisions have been created that work with existing criminal offences for victimising or causing detriment to a whistleblower or for breaches of confidentiality.

  • Protections for disclosures to journalists and parliamentarians in certain circumstances have been provided.

  • Whistleblowers now have easier access to compensation or other remedies if they incur loss due to the whistleblowing.

  • All public companies, large proprietary companies and corporate trustees of registrable superannuation entities must have a whistleblower policy.