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Proposed whistle-blower guidance

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been busy this week with the publication of their proposed guidance on the legal obligation of companies to implement the whistle-blower policy. This forms part of the whistle-blowing regime that began last month.

“Implemented appropriately, whistle-blower policies will help companies to comply with their legal obligations to protect whistle-blowers from being identified and to protect whistle-blowers from detriment,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said.

The regulator hopes to get public feedback on the matter by 18 September. It is expected affected entities will ensure their own policies are implemented by 1 January 2020.

The focus of the proposed guidance is to:

  • ensure whistle-blowers are protected;

  • encourage whistle-blowers to come forward;

  • reveal and address misconduct occurring within companies;

  • deter wrongdoing within companies by increasing the likelihood that wrongdoing will be reported;

  • improve compliance with the law; and

  • foster a more ethical culture.

ASIC also noted that hearings on the topic of responsible lending will be held on 12 August in Sydney and 19 August in Melbourne.

According to the regulator, “Proposed Regulatory Guide Whistle-blower Policies explains how companies can establish, implement and maintain a policy. It covers the information that companies must include in their whistle-blower policy, including how they will support and protect whistle-blowers and handle and investigate whistle-blower disclosures.”


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