McGrathNicol’s FCX (Financial Crime Exchange) hosted a breakfast seminar at the RACV Club, Melbourne last week which put the recently amended whistleblower provisions of the Corporations Act under the microscope. An expert panel comprising Corrs Partner Abby Gill, Griffith University’s Professor AJ Brown, ANZ Whistleblower Program Lead Clare Molan and ASIC Regional Commissioner for Victoria and National Head of the Office of the Whistleblower Warren Day, illuminated the many nuances of the new whistleblower protection regime using a real-world inspired case study before a room of business leaders and legal figures.
Some of the key points arising from the experience and expertise of the panel included:
- the range of entities affected is broad – all companies have new obligations and this may include not-for-profits, charities, sporting groups, quasi-government entities;
- the parties to whom protection is to be afforded is also broad and now includes: contractors, suppliers, volunteers and people formerly in this categories as well as their immediate families; and
- while the new provisions do not stipulate how whistleblowers would be compensated in the event they suffer detrimental conduct, the panel was of the view that the orders for compensations could be significant and more so for organisations who fail to implement a whistleblower protection program.