FMP is committed to maintaining a strong culture of compliance. All employees are encouraged to report any improper conduct, misconduct or serious unlawful conduct he/she witnesses in the workplace.
This policy relates to the whistleblower protections arising under the Corporations Act 2011 (Cth) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) (Whistleblower Laws).
The Whistleblower Laws protect a person who comes forward to report concerns about any misconduct or improper or unlawful conduct within a company or organization (whistleblower)
This policy explains:
- a) the Whistleblower Laws;
- b) what directors, employees and contractors of FMP can do if he/she wants to report something that may be covered by the Whistleblower Laws;
- c) what an employee of FMP must do if he/she receives a report form a whistleblower; and
- d) what action FMP will take if it receives a whistleblower report.
This policy applies to all employees of FMP and will be made available on the company SharePoint.
A person is a whistleblower, if they fall within any of the following categories, and can access the rights and protections available under the Whistleblower laws from when the whistleblower reports the conduct:
- (a) a director or employee of FMP
- (b) a person who supplies goods or services to FMP or an employee or an employee of an organisation that supplies goods or services to FMP
- (c) a person who is an associate of FMP; or
- (d) A relative or dependent of a person to at (a) to (c) above or such person’s spouse
A person does not have to register as a whistleblower or identify him/herself in order to qualify for protection. A report can be made anonymously.
- a) FMP will act upon receiving a whistleblower report. The steps FMP takes may vary, depending on the content of the report and whether the report is submitted anonymously.
- b) FMP will protect and unless the whistleblower consents, FMP will keep the identity of a whistleblower confidential.
- c) FMPwillnotdiscloseinformationthatislikelytoleadtotheidentificationofthewhistleblower and will take steps to protect the anonymity of the whistleblower, If there are circumstances where anonymity cannot be guaranteed, the whistleblower will be informed prior to disclosure.
- d) Any person who receives a whistleblower report must not disclose the identity of the whistleblower and must not distribute the report to any other party except as described in this Policy and Procedure.
- e) Unless you fall within the class of persons specified in paragraph (a) of the reportable procedure clause 5, if you receive a whistleblower report you should notify the whistleblower of the policy and confirm that a report can be sent to parties listed in clause 5.
- f) FMP will not take adverse actions (such as dismissal, demotion, suspension, harassment, victimisation, intimidation, or other forms of discrimination) against a whistleblower simply because he/she has raised allegations, even if the allegations are proven to be inaccurate or unsubstantiated.
- g) Employeeswillnotsubmitwhistleblowerreportsaboutpersonalwork-relatedgrievancesor complaints such as, conflict with another employee, a decision about the terms of your employment or disciplinary matters.
- h) Employees will in good faith, cooperate and follow any directions given by the FMP for the purpose of assisting the company to investigate allegations made within or in connection with a whistleblower report.
4. Whistleblower Laws
- a) Employees can access the rights and protections under the Whistleblower Laws if they report misconduct, improper conduct or potential breaches of law within the company. Reports made anonymously will still be protected.
- b) A whistleblower will be immune from any civil litigation (ie. Breach of contract), criminal prosecution or administrative legal action (Including disciplinary action) for making a report about Reportable Conduct- the term is defined in clause 5 (a) below.
- c) Only reports that are about Reportable Conduct are protected by the Whistleblower Laws. A person who maliciously or vexatiously makes disclosures or makes false disclosures may be subject to disciplinary action.
- d) Any employee who participates, assists or is in any way involved with an investigation will also be protected.
What is reportable conduct?
- a) Personal or general work-related grievances and complaints by a person about their own employment or situation are not reportable for the purposes of the whistleblower Laws.
- b) If you have
reasonable grounds to suspect that a director, employee, contractor or
supplier of FMP or other person who has business dealings with FMP has
engaged in conduct described below (Reportable conduct), then if you
report the conduct you qualify for protection under the Whistleblower
- i. dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt, including bribery;
- ii. unlawful or criminal activities (including theft, drug sale/use,
violence, threatened violence, or criminal damage against FMP
assets/property or breaches states or federal law);
- iii. discrimination, vilification, sexual harassment, harassment, bullying and victimisation;
- iv. acts or omissions in breach of Commonwealth or state legislation or local authority by laws;
- v. unethical behaviour;
- vi. other serious improper conduct (including gross mismanagement, serious and substantial waste of FMP resources, or repeated breaches of administrative procedures);
- vii. unsafe work practices;
- viii. any other conduct which may cause material, financial or non-financial loss to FMP or be otherwise detrimental to the interests or reputation of FMP, or any of its employees;
- ix. breaches of the Taxations Administration Act 1953; or
- x. the deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the matters listed above.
Reportable conduct under the Corporations Act
Additionally, the Corporations Act 2011 (Cth) protects reports of conduct that:
- a) constitutes an offence against any other law of the Commonwealth that is punishable by imprisonment for a period of 12 months or more; or
- b) represents a danger to the public or the financial system.
Employees are encouraged to obtain legal advice if they are not sure if the nature of their concern falls within the scope of Reportable Conduct of if he/she is qualified for protection under the Whistleblower Laws.
5. Reporting Procedure
- (a) To qualify for protection under the Whistleblower Laws a report must be sent to an ‘eligible recipient’:
A report can be sent to: The Human Resources Manager
In addition, a whistleblower report can also be sent to:
- a. Any director or senior manager of FMP. A ‘senior manager’ is a person (other than a director) who has the authority to make or is involved in decisions that affect the whole or substantial part to the company or its financial standing;
- b. The Garrett Integrity and compliance unit via the Garrett Integrity Helpline
- c. Auditor of FMP;
- d. Tax agent of FMP;
- e. ASIC;
- f. APRA;
- g. CommissionerofTaxation;or
- h. A legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to operation of the whistleblower provisions under the Corporations ACT 2011 or Taxation Administration Act 1953.
- (b) A whistleblower may not qualify for protection under the Whistleblower Laws if he/she sends a report to a party other than those listed above in paragraph 5(a).
- (c) All reports should contain reasonably detailed information including, dates, places, persons, witnesses, amounts, and other relevant information, in order to allow for a reasonable investigation to be conducted. Such information will greatly assist FMP to properly investigate the claims made in the report.
- (d) If the whistleblower discloses his or her name or provides a way to communicate with the whistleblower, the person receiving the disclosure will acknowledge having received the disclosure.
- (e) If a report is submitted on an anonymous basis and no contact details are provided, there will not be an opportunity for FMP to obtain the information it needs to conduct a fulsome and effective investigation. Whistleblowers are encouragement to identify themselves or at least provide a way for FMP to communicate with the whistleblower.
6. Post-Disclosure Procedure
- (a) FMP will take all reasonable steps to protect the identity of the whistleblower and mitigate the risk of the whistleblower being identified.
- (b) Once a disclosure has been received from a whistleblower, FMP will consider the most appropriate action. This may include an investigation of the alleged conduct.
- (c) Any investigation in relation to a disclosure will be conducted promptly and fairly, with due regards for the nature of the allegation and the rights and interests of the persons involved in the investigation.
- (d) During the investigation, the investigator will be provided access to all relevant materials, documents, and records. The directors, employees and agents of FMP Pty Ltd will be asked to cooperate fully with the investigator.
- (e) Where possible, FMP Pty Ltd will communicate with the whistleblower and disclose its decision regarding the report including the outcome of any investigation.
- (f) All members of staff must in good faith, cooperate with FMP Pty Ltd for the purposes of assisting the company to investigate allegations made within or in connection with a whistleblower report and must promptly comply with any directions made by FMP.
- 7. Communications with the whistleblower
- (a) Provided the whistleblower provides a method of communication, FMP will keep the whistleblower informed about the outcome of an investigation.
- (b) When communicating with the whistleblower, to ensure fair treatment FMP will consider the rights and interests of the parties in respect of whom the allegations are made.
- (a) Without limiting any other clause of this policy and
procedure, an employee will be in breach of this Policy and Procedure if
he or she:
- i. Fails to respond to direction;
- ii. Unreasonably delays in responding to a direction;
- iii. Does not cooperate with the company during an investigation including without limitation, answering questions about to the staff member;
- iv. Does anything that is likely to impact the investigation adversely or cause detriment to the whistleblower.
(b) FMP and any employee who receives a whistleblower report will be in
breach of a Whistleblower Laws and may be liable for civil and criminal
penalties if the whistleblower suffers detriment as a result of:
- i. the company or employee disclosing the identity of the whistleblower of information that is likely to result in the identification of the whistleblower; or
- ii. adverse actions taken by FMP against the whistleblower or threats of detriment made to the whistleblower by FMP or any employee in relation to the allegations in the report.
- (c) Civil penalties include payment of compensation to the whistleblower.
- (d) Any breach of this policy and procedure may lead to disciplinary consequences up to and including termination of employment, engagement or appointment.