19 February 2019

Coalition strengthens whistleblower protections

The Morrison Government has strengthened corporate and tax whistleblower protections establishing a single, strengthened whistleblower protection regime for the corporate, financial and credit sectors and creating a new protection regime for reporting tax misconduct.

This important legislation passed the Parliament today. Whistleblowing plays a critical role in uncovering corporate misconduct and criminal activity.

Our package of reforms will help to put an end to the significant personal and financial loss that can result from blowing the whistle on misconduct by increasing protections, remedies and sanctions for whistleblowers. These reforms are advanced by international standards.

The reforms expand whistleblower protections to a broader class of persons including, for example, former employees and provide protections for anonymous disclosures.

The new corporate, financial and credit sector regime expands the types of disclosures that can be protected and ensures disclosures can be made to Parliamentarians or the media where certain preconditions are satisfied.

Large companies will be required to have a whistleblower policy to support good corporate governance and culture, which the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry stated is fundamentally important.

These reforms have benefitted from the advice of the Government’s Expert Advisory Panel in developing the legal framework.

This legislation will help to ensure public trust and confidence in the integrity of the corporate sector and financial system.