Whistleblower Protection Policy
1. Policy Purpose and Application
151 Property Corporate Pty Ltd and its related companies (151 Property) are committed to the principles of ethical conduct, respect and operational excellence, and recognise the importance of all employees working towards creating a productive and harmonious workplace culture. 151 Property values teamwork, respect and integrity and wishes to encourage a culture where any officer, employee or contractor does not suffer detriment because of speaking up about potential misconduct concerns. This policy has been adopted to provide a safe and confidential environment for people to raise any such concerns without fear of reprisal.
This policy sets out:
- when you will be protected for speaking up about misconduct;
- the protections that may be provided to you if you speak up; and
- how disclosures made under this policy will be handled by 151 Property.
All officers, employees and contractors of 151 Property, wherever they are based, must comply with this policy.
Officers and employees of 151 Property based in New Zealand may also be subject to additional New Zealand whistleblower requirements.
This policy is also available on our website www.151property.com.au.
2. Who is Protected Under This Policy?
You will be protected under this policy if:
- you are one of the individuals set out in section 3;
- you disclose information about the type of matters set out in section 4; and
- you disclose that information to one of the persons set out in sections 5 and 11.
This policy also protects those who are entitled to whistleblower protection under the Australian and New Zealand whistleblower laws (see section 11 of this policy).
We encourage you to contact a Whistleblower Protection Officer if you have any questions about making a disclosure or this policy generally.
In some cases, you may wish to obtain independent legal advice:
- before making a disclosure (for example, if you are thinking about making a disclosure to an MP or a journalist); or
- if you feel you have suffered detriment because you made a disclosure, including if you wish to seek compensation or remedies in court for potentially detrimental conduct or a failure to protect your identity.
That communication with your legal adviser will also be protected under the Australian whistleblower laws (irrespective of the outcome of that advice).
3. Who can Make a Protected Disclosure?
You can make a disclosure that qualifies for protection under the Australian whistleblower laws if you are or were:
- an officer or employee of 151 Property, including permanent, part-time, fixed-term or temporary employees or interns and secondees;
- a supplier of goods and services to 151 Property (whether paid or unpaid), including their employees (for example, contractors, consultants, service providers and business partners); or
- an associate of 151 Property; or
- a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, spouse or dependent of any of those people.
4. What can a Protected Disclosure be About?
To be protected under the Australian whistleblower laws, you must make an eligible disclosure and must have reasonable grounds for that disclosure. You can still qualify for protection if your disclosure turns out to be incorrect, but you will not be protected if you make a deliberately false disclosure, which may amount to misconduct and be subject to disciplinary action.
Disclosures do not have to be about breaking the law. Eligible disclosures can be about misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances that you have reasonable grounds to suspect has occurred or is occurring in relation to 151 Property. However, the disclosure cannot solely be about a personal work-related grievance to you.
Some examples of matters that are eligible disclosures are:
- conduct that amounts to a criminal offence or contravention of the Corporations Act 2001 or Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001;
- conduct that is a Commonwealth criminal offence publishable by more than 12 months imprisonment;
- illegal conduct, such as fraud, theft, corruption, bribery, criminal damage to property, dealing in or use of illicit drugs, actual or threatened violence or breaches of work health and safety laws;
- negligence, default, breach of trust and breach of duty;
- an activity that poses a significant risk to public safety, people, property, operations or the environment (irrespective of whether it involves a breach of law);
- any conduct that may indicate a systemic issue in relation to 151 Property;
- any business behaviours and practices that may cause consumer harm;
- conduct that represents a danger to the public or the financial system;
- conduct or information that represents a significant risk to stability of or confidence in the financial system (irrespective of whether it involves a breach of law);
- misconduct in relation to 151 Property’s tax affairs;
- engaging in or threatening to engage in detrimental conduct against a person who has made a disclosure or is believed or suspected to have made, or be planning to make, a disclosure; or
- use of inside information regarding the affairs of 151 Property and its shareholders, or any information acquired in the course of employment, for their own personal gain or for that of others such as friends, relatives or business associates.
Personal work-related grievances
A personal work-related grievance is a grievance about an individual’s employment that has implications only for the individual personally (such as payroll or remuneration issues, promotion decisions, terms and conditions of engagement, or a decision to suspend or terminate your engagement or take other disciplinary action, and interpersonal conflicts), but does not have any other significant implications for 151 Property, involve a breach of workplace laws or relate to conduct about an eligible disclosure as referred to above.
Disclosures about solely personal work-related grievances are not covered by this policy and do not qualify for protection under the Australian whistleblower laws unless they also relate to any detriment or threat of detriment (as explained in section 7.3) to you.
If your disclosure is a solely personal work-related grievance, you should make it in accordance with the 151 Property Workplace Behaviour and EEO Policy which is available in the 151 Property Data Library (L:\CORPORATE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT\Policies and Procedures).
5. Who can Receive a Protected Disclosure?
All of the people listed in this section 5 can receive disclosures that qualify for protection under the Australian whistleblower laws. However, we encourage you to make your disclosure to one of our dedicated Whistleblower Protection Officers.
Whistleblower Protection Officer 1 – Chief Operating Officer
Name: Jillian Khoo
Mobile: +61 45 256 587
Whistleblower Protection Officer 2 – Head of Residential
Name: Alan Frost
Mobile: +61 422 079 806
If you prefer, you can instead make a disclosure to one or more of the following people:
- any member of our Executive Leadership Group;
- any other director, officer or senior manager of 151 Property;
- an internal or external auditor (including a member of an audit team conducting an audit on 151 Property); or
- 151 Property’s registered tax agent or BAS agent , if the disclosure concerns 151 Property’s tax affairs or the tax affairs of an associate of 151 Property, or an employee or officer at 151 Property who has functions or duties relating to its tax affairs and who you consider may be assisted in their role by knowing that information.
6. How can a Protected Disclosure be Made?
You may make a disclosure at any time to the people identified in section 5 in person, by email, post, or delivered by hand.
An example form for making a disclosure is attached to this policy and is also available in the 151 Property Data Library (L:\CORPORATE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT\Policies and Procedures).
If you make a disclosure from or to a 151 Property email address, your email may be accessed by certain people within its IT department in accordance with 151 Property’s policies. If you are concerned about those limited circumstances in which your email might be accessed, you may prefer to make your disclosure verbally or by mail.
You can make your disclosure anonymously (and stay anonymous throughout and after any investigation) and still qualify for protection under the Australian whistleblower laws. However, 151 Property may not be able to undertake an investigation if it is not able to contact you or receive additional information from you required to fully investigate your disclosure.
If you have made your disclosure anonymously, we suggest you maintain ongoing two-way communication with 151 Property so it can ask follow-up questions or provide feedback. You can refuse to answer questions that you feel may reveal your identity at any time.