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Whistleblowing can have a significant impact on your business environment, profitability and reputation. Creating a whistleblower policy around this can protect your employees and make them feel safe.
You can use a whistleblower policy template to produce what you need quickly and effectively. Find out what you need to know, including where to get templates, in this guide.
What's in this guide?
- What is a Whistleblower Policy Template?
- When should I use a Whistleblower Policy Template?
- Where can I get a Whistleblower Policy Template?
- What does a Whistleblower Policy Template include and not include?
- Get access to customisable Whistleblower Policy templates online
- Example of Eligible Disclosures
- Pros and cons of using a Whistleblower Policy template
- How effective is a Whistleblower Policy template?
What is a Whistleblower Policy Template?
This is a template by which you can create a whistleblower policy for your business. It's designed to inform your staff about the procedures and responsibilities surrounding whistleblowing and encourage them to report allegations of misconduct.
The Whistleblower Policy Template can be used by all officers, employees, members of the staff and suppliers to raise any matter which they believe contravene the law.
Download this whistleblower policy template at Lawpath
When should I use a Whistleblower Policy Template?
Public companies, large proprietary companies and corporate trustees of superannuation entities are legally required to have a whistleblower policy. This law has been in force since 1 January 2020. If you're looking to introduce a policy because you are required or because you want to protect whistleblowers, a template may be suitable.
Where can I get a Whistleblower Policy Template?
To make sure that your Whistleblower Policy Template includes all the relevant guidelines for your employees, you can seek professional guidance from your company's lawyer.
There are also several online virtual firms which provide a series of legal, customisable document templates. Free versions of this policy template are available from the following websites:
- Employment Hero
- The Australian Government Registered Organisations Commission website
- Mission Australia
- Our Community (only available for not-for-profit organisations)
What does a Whistleblower Policy Template include and not include?
The Whistleblower Policy Template must always state clearly the guiding principles and beliefs of the business. Most importantly, it must show your employees how committed the company is to provide a safe environment where whistleblowers are protected.
The Whistleblower Policy is a legal document which must be always publicly available and accessible for all the members of the staff.
It must contain the following details:
- Overview of the company's Whistleblower Policy
- Scope and purpose of this policy
- Definition of Disposable Conduct to provide an overview of when this policy applies
- Reporting and subsequent procedures
- Outline of internal and external investigation processes
- Confidentiality and protections guarantees provided to those who raise a matter
- Consequences of failing to comply with the Whistleblower Policy.
- Links to external organisations which can provide support to potential whistleblowers, such as trade unions.
Get access to customisable Whistleblower Policy templates online
Does your company belong in this list?
Example of Eligible Disclosures
The template must include a complete report of eligible "dispensable conduct", to help your staff identify when the policy can be applied. This includes:
- Potential violations of laws and company's regulations;
- Criminal acts (e.g. theft, bribery, corruption);
- Tax-related misconduct;
- Unauthorised disclosure or any misuse of confidential information;
- Fraud or breach of trust;
- Inaccuracies in financial statements;
- Conduct that is a danger to the stability of the company;
- Behaviour or practices which may cause consumer harm;
- Anti-competitive behaviour, or dishonest or unethical behaviour.
Pros and cons of using a Whistleblower Policy template
- Quick and easy. You can use an online template to establish a whistleblower policy quite quickly.
- Save on costs. Using a legal template will be cheaper than hiring the services of an individual lawyer.
- Not suitable for all companies. If your company is larger you need a more customised policy, a template may not be suitable for you.
How effective is a Whistleblower Policy template?
A whistleblower template will allow you to introduce a legally-enforceable whistleblower policy. These templates are designed by law firms and lawyers to be able to be used across a range of businesses.
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