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What's a whistleblowing policy and when do you need it?
You should have a whistleblowing policy in place.
All employees, contractors, consultants, officers, interns, casual and agency workers are covered by this policy.
It sets out what they should do if they have reason to believe that something dangerous, unlawful or unethical is going on at work and it is affecting (or risks affecting) them or other colleagues. This might be caused by internal conduct within the business, or issues arising from the actions of third parties such as suppliers, service providers, and clients.
When you report these kinds of concerns, it’s called ‘whistleblowing’.
This template includes all the statutory requirements, as well as optional elements for you to consider. It provides examples of the type of conduct that would typically give rise to a whistleblowing right for (or indeed, an obligation on), those duty-bound by the policy. These include activities such as criminal activity, endangering the health or safety of others, damage to the environment, failure to comply with mandatory professional qualification criteria, etc.
Our experts recommend that you do not give the policy contractual status in any employment contract that you put in place, but that you do reference it in that contract, making clear that the employee is expected to comply with the policy and that you have the right to update or revise it, in your discretion and when you want to.