National Whistleblower Policy Exemption and Deferral Scheme


With strict new Whistleblower policy requirements under the Corporations Act about to commence, Commonwealth Parliament has released an Instrument exempting certain ‘eligible companies’. Read on to find out if the exemption applies to your organisation.

This training brochure applies to all organisations that currently receive the NATIONAL – Protections for Whistleblowers (Corporations Law) topic.

ASIC Corporations (Whistleblower Policies) Instrument 2019/1146 (Cth)

Please be advised that the ASIC Corporations (Whistleblower Policies) Instrument 2019/1146 (Cth) (the Instrument) is due to commence on 1 January 2020. The Instrument creates an exemption and deferral scheme allowing certain organisations to avoid the obligations imposed under section 1317AI(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act).

Exemption

Organisations who are eligible public companies and whose consolidated revenue is less than $1 million each financial year should be aware that they do not have to comply with section 1317AI(1) of the Corporations Act. Meaning that such organisations are not obliged to have a whistle-blower policy in place, or make this policy available to officers and employees of the organisation.

An organisation is an eligible public company, if it is a company limited by guarantee, operated on a not-for-profit basis and is not a trustee, within the meaning of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) of a registrable superannuation entity (meaning the organisation is not the trustee of the fund, scheme or trust or manages the fund, scheme or trust).

According to the Instrument, consolidated revenue means the consolidated revenue of a company, calculated in accordance with accounting standards in force at the relevant time.

Deferral

Organisations who are eligible public companies and who were covered by the above exemption, but whose consolidated revenue for a subsequent financial year was/is $1 million or more do not have to comply with section 1317AI(1) of the Corporations Act until 6 months after the end of the following financial year.

However, such organisations are not covered by the exception for any financial year occurring after the successive financial year.

Conclusion

Organisations who are eligible public companies should be aware of the possible exemption and deferral scheme created under the Instrument and know whether or not it applies to them.

Furthermore, organisations should be aware that the exemption only applies to organisations whose consolidated revenue is less than $1 million each financial year and that the deferral only applies:

  • to organisations who were previously covered by the exception; and
  • that the deferral only lasts until 6 months after the end of the subsequent financial year.

Please see the NATIONAL – Protections for Whistleblowers (Corporations Law) topic for more information.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au