|On 19 February, the Australian parliament unanimously passed new legislation that will give corporate whistleblowers greater protection, and could have a culture-changing impact on the way companies in Australia operate.
These new reforms lead the world in two respects:
First, legal protections now apply before a whistleblower starts to experience reprisals.
Second, a company can now be held liable if it fails to prevent detrimental acts – by having no support plans in place, or neglecting to implement them, for example.
TIA welcomes this as a major step forward in improving whistleblower protections in Australia but acknowledges there is more to be done, including a matching upgrade to public sector whistleblowing laws, legislative consolidation, a reward scheme and, crucially, a well-resourced whistleblower protection authority to actually implement these laws.
Read more about TIA Board Member Professor AJ Brown’s thoughts on the new legislation here, and don’t forget the important piece of research Whistleblowing: New rules, new policies, new vision, which came out while the parliament was deliberating on the legislation, demonstrating the evidence-based shortcomings of the former whistleblower legislation.