With the recent introduction of the whistleblower amendments to the Corporations Act 2001, many Australian companies are considering how best to comply with the new requirements. But is strict compliance with the amended whistleblower provisions all that they should aspire to? This article discusses what Australian corporations could and should be doing over and above strict compliance with the Corporations Act whistleblower regime and also considers the business case for implementing an effective whistleblower program.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 became law on 1 July 2019 and, in doing so, amended the existing whistleblower provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 which had which had been in force since 2004. The new provisions impose compliance obligations on all Australian corporations with additional obligations for publicly listed and large proprietary companies. The amended Corporations Act has a range of innovative features which gives Australia one of the most far-reaching whistleblower protection regimes in the world.1