Whistleblower Protection Policy

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: 

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:

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:

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:

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:

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
Email: jillian.khoo@151property.com.au

Whistleblower Protection Officer 2 – Head of Residential

Name: Alan Frost
Mobile: +61 422 079 806 
Email: alan.frost@151property.com.au

If you prefer, you can instead make a disclosure to one or more of the following people:

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.

7. Protections for Disclosures

7.1 Identity Protections

If you make a protected disclosure, it is illegal for anyone to identify you or disclose any information that is likely to lead to you being identified, unless:

7.2 Confidentiality and Secure Record Keeping

Subject to the exceptions allowed under section 7.1 of this policy or otherwise by law, the identity of a discloser (or information that is likely to lead to their identity becoming known) must be kept confidential at all times during and after the investigation (including in any reporting to the Board of Directors of 151 Property Corporate Pty Limited or its related entities within the 151 Property group (Board) or to any persons affected).  

All persons responsible for or involved in an investigation must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk that a discloser will be identified.

151 Property will keep your identity and your disclosure confidential and secure by:

7.3 Protection from Detriment

151 Property is committed to protecting people who make disclosures under this policy.

No-one at 151 Property (including any officers, employees or contractors) may cause or threaten any detriment to any person because they think a disclosure has been or might be made under this policy.

“Detriment” includes (but is not limited to):

7.4 Protection From Civil, Criminal and Administrative Liability

If you make a protected disclosure, you will also be protected from any of the following in relation to your disclosure:

However, you may be liable for any personal misconduct revealed by your disclosure.

7.5 Compensation and Other Remedies

You may seek compensation and other remedies through the courts if:

7.6 Support and Practical Protections

151 Property will protect, support and monitor the welfare of anyone who makes a disclosure.  This will include a risk assessment of any potential detriment, work adjustment considerations and support services such as counselling.

8 Investigations of Disclosures Under this Policy

When you make a disclosure under this policy to one of the persons set out in section 5, your disclosure will typically be investigated as follows and by maintaining confidentiality in accordance with section 7.2:

STEP 1

The person who receives your disclosure will provide the information to a Whistleblower Protection Officer, as soon as practicable, ensuring your identity is protected (in accordance with section 7.1), unless you have consented otherwise. 

STEP 2

The Whistleblower Protection Officer will determine whether your disclosure is covered by this policy and, if appropriate, appoint an investigator with no personal interest in the matter to conduct an investigation.  If required, an external investigator will be appointed to ensure the investigation is handled fairly and independently or where specialist skills or expertise are necessary.

STEP 3

The investigator(s) will conduct the investigation in an objective and fair manner, ensuring that they give any employee who is mentioned in the disclosure an opportunity to respond to the allegations prior to any adverse findings being made against them.  Those employees are also entitled to access the support services referred to in section 7.6.

If you can be contacted (including through anonymous channels), we will give you regular updates on the status of the investigation as appropriate, with the frequency and timing of such updates depending on the nature of your disclosure.

151 Property will aim to conclude the investigations as soon as reasonably practicable, and within six months of receiving your disclosure.  But that time may vary depending on the nature of your disclosure.

STEP 4

The outcome of the investigation will be reported to the Board (protecting your identity, if applicable) and may, if the Whistleblower Protection Officer considers appropriate, be shared with you and any persons affected.

9 Board Reporting

The Whistleblower Protection Officers must provide the Board or its delegated committee at least quarterly reports on all active whistleblower matters, including information on:

the number and nature of disclosures made in the last quarter (for example, by who, who to and matter type);

how disclosures were made;

the status of any investigations underway;

the frequency of communications with disclosers; 

the outcomes of completed investigations and actions taken; and

the timeframes for responding and investigating disclosures.

The Board or its delegated committee will also be immediately informed of any material incidents reported under this policy.

10 Training

Our Whistleblower Protection Officers and all eligible recipients of disclosures must attend compulsory training organised by 151 Property on responding appropriately to disclosures made under this policy.

151 Property will inform its external eligible recipients about their obligations under the Australian whistleblower laws.

Our employees must attend compulsory training on our whistleblower program which will include information on how to make a disclosure, what the disclosure can be about, to whom a disclosure can make it, the protections and support available and when further information or independent legal advice might be sought.

11 How This Policy Interacts With Whistleblower Laws

11.1 Australian Whistleblower Laws

By making a disclosure in accordance with this policy, you may be protected under the Australian whistleblower laws if the type of matter you disclose is protected by those laws. 

While this policy principally deals with internal disclosures, the protections afforded by the Australian whistleblower laws (set out in section 7) also include some types of disclosure made to external parties, such as:

For more information about the Australian whistleblower laws (including how to make a disclosure directly to ASIC or the ATO), see the information available on the ASIC website (including Information Sheet 239 How ASIC handles whistleblower reports) and the ATO website.  

11.2 New Zealand Whistleblower Laws

If you are a 151 Property officer, employee or contractor based in New Zealand, you may also have protections and obligations under the New Zealand whistleblower laws.  

12 Non-Compliance With This Policy

Any breach of this policy by an officer, employee or contractor will be taken seriously by 151 Property and may be the subject of a separate investigation and/or disciplinary action.

A breach of this policy may also amount to a civil or criminal contravention under the Australian and New Zealand whistleblower laws, giving rise to significant penalties.

We encourage you to raise any concerns about non-compliance with this policy with a Whistleblower Protection Officer in the first instance.  You can also lodge any concerns to ASIC or the ATO for investigation.

13 Policy Review

This policy must be reviewed by the Board or its delegated committee with the assistance of the Whistleblower Protection Officers at least every two years to ensure it is operating effectively.  Any recommended changes must be approved by the Board or its delegated committee. 

The Company Secretary is authorised to make administrative and non-material amendments to this policy provided that any such amendments are notified to the Board or its delegated committee at or before its next meeting.

151 Property will ensure any updates to this policy, its processes and procedures are widely disseminated to, and easily accessible by, individuals covered by this policy.  Where necessary, additional training will be provided.

Optional – Disclosure Form

151 Property Corporate Pty Ltd and its related companies (151 Property) are committed to the principles of ethical conduct, respect and operational excellence, and recognises 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. 151 Property appreciates you taking the time to bring matters of concern to our attention; thank you for speaking up.

The attached form can be used by anyone who is or was a director, other officer, employee, contractor, consultant, supplier, supplier’s employee, as well as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, spouse or dependant of any of these individuals.

The attached form is part of 151 Property’s whistleblower program and is intended to assist you make a disclosure in relation to 151 Property, or an officer or employee of 151 Property, under 151 Property’s Whistleblower Policy. 

Use of the attached (including provision of all information requested in it) is optional and it is open to you to make your disclosure in another way.  

You can provide this form to us by email, post or hand via: 

Whistleblower Protection Officer 1 – Chief Operating Officer

Name: Jillian Khoo
Mobile: +61 45 256 587
Email: jillian.khoo@151property.com.au

Whistleblower Protection Officer 2 – Head of Residential

Name: Alan Frost
Mobile: +61 422 079 806 
Email: alan.frost@151property.com.au