Whistle Blower Policy

House of Travel Pty Ltd

 Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION. 2

2 DEFINITIONS. 2

3 PURPOSE OF THE WB POLICY. 3

4 WHO IS AN ELIGIBLE WHISTLEBLOWER?. 4

5 MATTERS THE WB POLICY APPLIES TO.. 4

6 WHO CAN RECEIVE A DISCLOSURE?. 6

7 PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURES AND EMERGENCY DISCLOSURES. 7

8 HOW TO MAKE A DISCLOSURE. 7

9 LEGAL PROTECTION FOR ELIGIBLE WHISTLEBLOWERS. 8

10 SUPPORT AND PRACTICAL PROTECTION FOR DISCLOSERS. 10

11 HANDLING AND INVESTIGATING A DISCLOSURE. 12

12 FAIR TREATMENT. 13

13 INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE. 14

14 BREACH OF WB POLICY. 14

15 FURTHER INFORMATION. 14

16 RELATED DOCUMENTS. 14

17 ACCESS TO WB POLICY. 14

18 DURATION OF THIS POLICY. 14

   

Whistleblower Policy

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

House of Travel Pty Ltd (HOT) is committed to promoting a culture of corporate compliance and highly ethical behaviour. The Corporations Act gives certain people legal rights and protections as “whistleblowers”. This WB Policy is intended to provide a mechanism for reporting wrongdoing that may be occurring at HOT in a safe and secure manner, having regard to and in accordance with the requirements of the Corporations Act and in some circumstances the Tax Act.  These types of reports are important to HOT’s risk management and corporate governance framework. This WB Policy also assists HOT in meeting its legal and regulatory obligations.The legal rights and protections for whistleblowers will only apply if certain requirements and conditions are met. This will depend on:

(a)  the nature of the person’s role and/or relationship with HOT;

(b)  the company or organisation the disclosure is about;

(c)  who the disclosure is made to;

(d)  the subject of the disclosure.

For this WB Policy and the protections in the Corporations Act to apply, the disclosure must be made:  These requirements are explained in this WB Policy.

This WB Policy applies to HOT and all of its Related Entities (including those entities identified in Annexure A (as updated from time to time)).

 

 

2. DEFINITIONS

 

The following definitions are used in this WB Policy:

(a)  AFP means the Australian Federal Police;

(b)  APRA means the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority;

(c)  ASIC means the Australian Investments and Securities Commission;

(d)  Associate has the meaning given in the Corporations Act;

(e)  ATO means the Australian Taxation Office;

(f)  Corporations Act means the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth);

(g)  Detrimental Conduct has the meaning given to in Part 9.2 of this WB Policy;

(h)  Disclosable Matter(s) has the meaning given to in Part 5.1 of this WB Policy;

(i)  Eligible Whistleblower has the meaning given to it in Part 4.1 of this WB Policy;

(j)  Eligible Recipient has the meaning given to it in Part 6.1 of this WB Policy;

(k)  EAP means the Employee Assistance Program provided by HOT, being PeopleSense.  The PeopleSense service can be accessed by contacting PeopleSense directly 1300 307 912 or by visiting PeopleSense directly on 1300 307 912, or by visiting: http://www.peoplesense.com.au/psychological-services/clinical-services/employee-assistance-program;

(l)  HOT means House of Travel Pty Ltd and its Related Entities;

(m) Liability Protections has the meaning given to in Part 9.3 of this WB Policy;

(n)  Regulatory Body means ASIC, APRA, the ATO (where applicable) or another Commonwealth body as prescribed by applicable regulations;

(o)  Related Entities means any related bodies corporate or associated entities of HOT for the purpose of the Corporations Act;

(p)  Tax Act means the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth);

(q)  WB Policy means this whistleblower policies and its annexures

 

 

3. PURPOSE OF THE WB POLICY

 

The purpose of this WB Policy is to:

(a)  outline the protections that apply for certain individuals who disclose wrongdoing and provide guidance as to when the whistleblower protections will apply;

(b)  ensure individuals who disclose certain wrongdoing in accordance with this WB Policy can do so safely, securely and with confidence that they will be protected and supported;

(c)  encourage individuals who are aware of wrongdoing, and who fall within the scope of this WB Policy, to have the confidence to raise the concern using the applicable processes;

(d)  ensure certain disclosures are dealt with appropriately and on a timely basis;

(e)  provide transparency around HOT’s framework for receiving, handling and investigating disclosures covered by the scope of this WB Policy;

(f)  assist in the deterrence of wrongdoing and encourage more disclosures of wrongdoing;

(g)  support the HOT’s values, long-term sustainability and reputation; and

(h)  meet HOT’s legal and regulatory obligations and support HOT’s risk management and corporate governance framework.

HOT encourages those covered by the WB Policy and who are aware of possible wrongdoing, to make a disclosure.

 

 

4. WHO IS AN ELIGIBLE WHISTLEBLOWER?

 

An Eligible Whistleblower is entitled to certain legal protections under the Corporations Act (see Part 9 of this WB Policy). 

An Eligible Whistleblower is an individual who is a current or former:

(a)  employee (including agency staff) of HOT;

(b)  officer (e.g director or company secretary) of HOT;

(c)  supplier of services or goods to HOT;

(d)  contractor or consultant (including the contractor’s or consultant’s employees); or

(e)  Associate of HOT.

In addition to the above, a relative, dependant or spouse of an individual referred to in paragraph (a)-(e) above may also be an Eligible Whistleblower.

 

 

5. MATTERS THE WB POLICY APPLIES TO

 

5.1  Disclosable Matters

Only Disclosable Matters are covered by this WB Policy and qualify for protection.

Disclosable Matters are:

(a)  information that the person has reasonable grounds to suspect concerns misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, in relation to HOT such as:

(i)  fraud;

(ii)  negligence;

(iii)  breach of trust or duty;

(iv)  default;

(v)  dishonest and unethical behaviour;

(vi)  conduct which is detrimental to HOT and could cause financial or non-financial loss; or

(b)  information about HOT where the person has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information indicates that HOT (including its employees or officers) has engaged in conduct that:

(i)  constitutes an offence against, or a contravention of, a provision of any of the laws specified in Annexure B, or any instrument made under those laws;

(ii) constitutes an offence against any other law of the Commonwealth that is punishable by imprisonment for a period of 12 months or more;

(iii)  represents a danger to the public or the financial system; or

(iv)  is prescribed by regulation.

Disclosable Matters include conduct that may not involve a contravention of a particular law. You may still qualify for protection under the Corporations Act even if your disclosure turns out to be incorrect.

 

5.2 Examples of Disclosable Matters

Examples of Disclosable Matters include:

(a)  illegal conduct, such as theft, dealing in, or the use of illicit drugs, violence or threatened violence, and criminal damage against property;

(b)  fraud, money laundering or misappropriation of funds;

(c)  offering or accepting a bribe;

(d)  financial irregularities;

(e)  failure to comply with, or breach of, legal or regulatory requirements;

(f)  misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances which indicates a systemic issue that a Regulatory Body may need to be aware of;

(g)  dishonest or unethical behaviour and practices;

(h)  conduct that may cause harm, or conduct prohibited by HOT’s standards, policies or procedures, handbooks or code(s) of conduct;

(i)  information that indicates a significant risk to public safety or the stability of, or confidence in, the financial system.

 

5.3  Tax Whistleblower Regime

Eligible Whistleblowers can also make a disclosure under the Tax Act and qualify for the whistleblower protections set out in the WB Policy.  Such disclosures would need to relate to HOT’s duties under a taxation law such as the Tax Act.

 

5.4  Types of Disclosures not covered by this WB Policy

This WB Policy does not cover disclosures that:

(a)  are not about Disclosable Matters; or

(b)  are personal work-related grievances; or

(c)  are deliberate false reports.

These types of disclosures are not covered by this WB Policy and do not qualify for protection under the Corporations Act.

 Personal work-related grievances

Disclosures that relate solely to personal work-related grievances, and that do not relate to detriment or the threat of detriment to an Eligible Whistleblower, do not qualify for protection under the Corporations Act.  Personal work-related grievances are grievances where:

(a)  the information concerns a grievance about any matter in relation to the person’s employment or engagement with HOT having (or tending to have) implications for the person personally;

(b)  the information:

(i)  does not have significant implications for HOT; and

(ii)  does not concern conduct, or alleged conduct, which would be a Disclosable Matter.

Examples of personal work-related grievances include:

(c)  an interpersonal conflict between the person and another employee;

(d)  a decision relating to the engagement, transfer or promotion of the person;

(e)  a decision relating to the terms and conditions of engagement of the person.

Employees should use the complaints procedure outlined within the HOT Employee Handbook (e.g. the HOT Grievance Policy) for personal work-related grievances. There may be some personal work-related grievances which qualify for protection under the Corporations Act, for example if:

(a)  a personal work-related grievance includes information about a Disclosable Matter (i.e. a mixed report);

(b)  the person suffers from or is threatened with detriment for making a disclosure;

(c)  HOT has breached employment or other laws punishable by imprisonment for a period of 12 months or more.

Disclosures that are not covered by this WB Policy may be covered by other legislation such as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

 

5.5  Deliberate False Reports

Deliberate false reports involve a person reporting information which they know to be untrue.  It does not include situations where the person reasonably suspects misconduct, but their suspicions are later determined to be unfounded.

Deliberate false reports have the potential to cause significant consequences, such as damaging the reputation of HOT or the reputation of any individuals identified in a false report.  HOT discourages deliberate false reporting.

A person who deliberately submits a false report in relation to a matter covered by this WB Policy will not be able to access the protections under the Corporations Act and may face disciplinary action for a breach of this WB Policy.

 

 

6.  WHO CAN RECEIVE A DISCLOSURE?

 

6.1 Eligible Recipients

To qualify for protection as a whistleblower under the Corporations Act (or the Tax Act where relevant) an Eligible Whistleblower must make a disclosure directly to:

(a)  an Eligible Recipient; or

(b)  a legal practitioner for the purposes set out in 6.3 below; or

(c)  a Regulatory Body.

 

 

6.2 HOT’s Eligible Recipients

HOT would like to identify and address wrongdoing as early as possible. HOT encourages Eligible Whistleblowers to make a disclosure to one of the Eligible Recipients in the first instance to assist in achieving this objective.  This approach is also intended to help build confidence and trust in this WB Policy.  However, you may make a disclosure directly to a Regulatory Body without first making the disclosure to an Eligible Recipients if you wish to do so.

Eligible Recipients of HOT are the following:

(a)  an officer of HOT (e.g. a director or company secretary);

(b)  senior managers of HOT;

(c)  the internal or external auditor or actuary of HOT;

(d)  a person authorised by HOT to receive disclosures that may qualify for protection.

 

6.3  Legal practitioners

A person may make a disclosure to a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the whistleblower provisions in the Corporations Act.  Such disclosures are protected under the Corporations Act (even in the event that the legal practitioner concludes that a disclosure does not relate to a Disclosable Matter).

 

6.4  Regulatory Bodies

Disclosures of information relating to Disclosable Matters can also be made to Regulatory Bodies and will qualify for protection.  Annexure C contains links to the whistleblowing information published by the Regulatory Bodies on their websites.

 

 

7. PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURES AND EMERGENCY DISCLOSURES

 

Disclosures may be made to a journalist or parliamentarian under certain circumstances and qualify for protection under the Corporations Act.  Such disclosures may either be a Public Interest Disclosure or an Emergency Disclosure (as such terms are defined in the Corporations Act).

Annexure D outlines the requirements for making a Public Interest Disclosure or an Emergency Disclosure.  It is important that you understand the criteria for making a Public Interest Disclosure or an Emergency Disclosure and it is recommended that you contact an independent legal adviser before making a Public Interest Disclosure or an Emergency Disclosure.

 

 

8. HOW TO MAKE A DISCLOSURE

 

8.1  Reporting Procedures

A report of a Disclosable Matter must be made to an Eligible Recipient. There are a range of options available to allow disclosures to be made anonymously and/or confidentiality, securely and outside of business hours.  If you decide to report a Disclosable Matter you can do so anonymously or by disclosing your name. Disclosures can be reported to the following persons internally at HOT whom are Eligible Recipients:

 

 

Name

 

Position Methods of reporting
Grant Campbell Chief Operating Officer Email: gcampbell@houseoftravel.com.au

Telephone: 0431 542 393

In person

 

Joe Araullo

 

Chief Executive Officer Email: jaraullo@houseoftravel.com.au

Telephone : 0416 010 707

In person

 

8.2  Anonymous Disclosures

If you report a Disclosable Matter to an Eligible Recipient anonymously you are still protected under the Corporations Act.  You may choose to remain anonymous:

(a)  when making a disclosure;

(b)  during the course of any investigation into the disclosure and after any such investigation is concluded.

You may also refuse to answer questions which you feel could reveal your identity at any time, including during follow-up conversations. If you wish to remain anonymous you should maintain ongoing two-way communication with the HOT (or the Eligible Recipient you made the report to) so that follow-up questions can be made or feedback provided.

An anonymous disclosure can be made by:

(a)  via post to Grant Campbell, House of Travel, PO Box 20006, World Square Sydney NSW 2000;

(b)  using an anonymous email address;

(c)  adopting a pseudonym.

Notwithstanding the above, you are encouraged to share your identity with the Eligible Recipient as this will make it easier for HOT to investigate and respond to the disclosure, however please note that there is no requirement to do so.

 

 

9.  LEGAL PROTECTION FOR ELIGIBLE WHISTLEBLOWERS

 

The protections available to Eligible Whistleblowers under the Corporations Act are explained below.

 

9.1 Identity Protection and confidentiality

Unless an exception applies, an Eligible Whistleblower is entitled to the protection of their identity and HOT is legally obligated to protect the confidentiality of the identity.

The identity, or information which may lead to the identification of an Eligible Whistleblower must be kept confidential by HOT.  This means that, HOT cannot disclose the identity of, or information identifying, an Eligible Whistleblower unless an exception applies.

Exceptions – when can an Eligible Whistleblower’s identity be disclosed?

Your identity can be disclosed by an Eligible Recipient:

(a)  to a Regulatory Body or a member of the AFP;

(b)  to a legal practitioner, for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or representation about the whistleblower provisions of the Corporations Act;

(c)   to a person or body as prescribed by applicable regulations; or

(d)  with your consent.

HOT can disclose information contained in a disclosure with or without your consent if:

(a)  the information does not include your identity;

(b)  HOT has taken all reasonable steps to reduce the risk that you will be identified from the information; and

(c)  it is reasonably necessary for investigating the issues raised in the disclosure.

Whilst HOT is committed to protecting the confidentiality and identity of Eligible Whistleblowers, please be aware that people may be able to ascertain your identity if:

(a)  you have previously mentioned to other people that you are considering making a disclosure;

(b)  you are one of a very small number of people with access to the information; or

(c)  the disclosure relates to information that you have previously been told privately and in confidence.

If you wish to lodge a complaint with HOT about a breach of confidentiality, a written complaint should be provided to Grant Campbell, Chief Operating Officer, using the contact details in Part 8.1 of this WB Policy.

You may also lodge a complaint with a Regulatory Body for investigation.

 

9.2 Protection from Detrimental Conduct

It is a breach of this WB Policy and the Corporations Act for a person to cause, or make a threat to cause, detriment to an Eligible Whistleblower in relation to a disclosure because:

(a)  they believe or suspect that an Eligible Whistleblower has made, may have made, or could make a disclosure of a Disclosable Matter; and

(b)  that belief or suspicion is the reason, or part of the reason, for the person’s conduct,

(referred to as Detrimental Conduct).

Examples of Detrimental Conduct include:

(a)  dismissal of an employee of HOT;

(b)  injury of an employee in their employment;

(c)  alteration of the employee’s position or duties to their disadvantage in their employment with HOT;

(d)  discrimination between an employee and other employees of HOT;

(e)  harassment or intimidation of a person;

(f)  harm or injury to a person, including psychological harm; or

(g)  damage to a person, including damage to their property, reputation or business or financial position.

Detrimental Conduct does not include:

(a)   administrative action that is reasonable to protect an Eligible Whistleblower from detriment (e.g. moving an Eligible Whistleblower who has made a disclosure about their immediate work area to a different work area to prevent them from being exposed to Detrimental Conduct);

(b)   action taken by HOT to manage unsatisfactory work performance or which is in accordance with HOT’s performance management procedures.

 

9.3 Liability Protections

An Eligible Whistleblower is protected from the following in relation to their disclosure:

(a)  civil liability (e.g. any legal action against an Eligible Whistleblower for breach of an employment contract, duty of confidentiality or another contractual liability);

(b)  criminal liability (e.g. attempted prosecution of an Eligible Whistleblower for unlawfully releasing information); and

(c)  administrative liability (e.g. disciplinary action for making the disclosure);

(collectively the Liability Protections).

However, the Liability Protections do not grant immunity for any misconduct an Eligible Whistleblower has engaged in that is revealed in their disclosure.

 

9.4 Compensation and other remedies

An Eligible Whistleblower (or any other employee or person) may also seek compensation and other remedies through the courts if:

(a)   they suffer loss, damage or injury because of a disclosure; and

(b)   HOT failed to prevent the person who caused the loss, damage or injury from causing that loss, damage or injury.

You are encouraged to seek independent legal advice in relation to compensation and other remedies.

 

 

10.  SUPPORT AND PRACTICAL PROTECTION FOR DISCLOSERS

 

HOT will take reasonable steps to support and protect those who make a disclosure.  Such measures will depend on the circumstances of the disclosure and the measures identified below may need to be varied as required to suit the particular circumstances of the disclosure.

 

10.1 Identify Protection

Examples of the measures or steps which may be taken by HOT to protect the identity of an Eligible Whistleblower may include the following:

(a)  redacting all personal information or reference to the person;

(b)  referring to the person in a gender-neutral context;

(c)  where possible, contacting the person to help identify certain aspects of their disclosure that could inadvertently identify them;

(d)  ensuring the handling and investigation of disclosures is conducted by qualified persons;

(e)  ensuring all paper and electronic documents and other materials relating to the disclosure is stored securely;

(f)  ensuring access to all information relating to a disclosure is limited to those directly involved in managing and investigating the disclosure;

(g)  only making a restricted number of people who are directly involved in handling and investigating a disclosure aware of the Eligible Whistleblower’s identity (subject to the person’s consent) or information that is likely to lead to the identification of the person;

(h)  ensuring communications and documents relating to the investigation of a disclosure are not sent to an email address or to a printer that can be accessed by other staff; or

(i)  ensuring each person who is involved in handling and investigating a disclosure is reminded about the confidentiality requirements, including that an unauthorised disclosure of an Eligible Whistleblower’s identity may be a criminal offence.

 

 

10.2 Protection from Detrimental Conduct

Examples of the measures or steps which may be taken by HOT to protect an Eligible Whistleblower from Detrimental Conduct include the following:

(a)  assessing the risk of detriment against the Eligible Whistleblower and other persons (e.g. other staff who might be suspected to have made a disclosure) as soon as possible after receiving a disclosure;

(b)  offering support services (including counselling or other professional services);

(c)  implementing strategies to help minimise and manage stress, time or performance impacts, or other challenges resulting from the disclosure or its investigation.  This may include (in HOT’s absolute discretion and subject to the ability and appropriateness of such measures having regard to reasonable business requirements):

(i)  allowing the person to perform their duties from another location;

(ii)  reassigning the person to another role at the same level;

(iii)  reassigning or relocating other staff involved in the disclosure;

(d)  endeavouring to ensure that HOT’s management are aware of their responsibilities to:

(i)  maintain the confidentiality of the Eligible Whistleblower;

(ii)  address the risks of isolation or harassment;

(iii)  manage conflicts; and

(iv)  ensure fairness when managing the performance of, or taking other management action relating to, an Eligible Whistleblower.

 

10.3 Reporting Detrimental Conduct

A person who believes they have been subjected to Detrimental Conduct because they are an Eligible Whistleblower, or any other person who believes they have been subjected to Detrimental Conduct because they have participated in, or assisted with an investigation of a Disclosable Matter, should immediately report the matter to the Chief Operating Officer. If Detrimental Conduct has been reported or has been found to have occurred, HOT will endeavour to take measures to protect the person. Such measures may include the following:

(a)  an investigation;

(b)  disciplinary action;

(c)  allowing the person to take leave.

You may seek independent legal advice or contact a Regulatory Body if you believe you have suffered from Detrimental Conduct.

 

 

11. HANDLING AND INVESTIGATING A DISCLOSURE

 

11.1 Receiving and investigating disclosures

Provided that the person can be contacted, HOT will acknowledge receipt of each disclosure within 10 business days or where this is not possible then within a reasonable time frame.

Where HOT receives a disclosure, HOT will need to firstly assess the disclosure and determine whether the disclosure qualifies for protection (i.e. is it a disclosure covered by this WB Policy?).  In making this assessment, HOT will focus on the substance of the disclosure, rather than the motive of the person making the disclosure.

The below sets out the key steps that HOT will take after receiving a disclosure and what will occur if an investigation is required:

 

11.2  Investigating a disclosure

If an investigation is undertaken into a disclosure, the steps outlined above may vary.  HOT will endeavour to ensure that any investigation is conducted objectively and fairly and to the extent permissible by law, on a confidential basis.

There may be limitations on HOT’s ability to properly conduct an investigation or make an assessment as to whether a disclosure requires investigation, including in instances where HOT is not able to contact the person who made the disclosure (e.g. if the disclosure is made anonymously and/or the person has not provided or refuses to provide a means of contacting them).To protect an Eligible Whistleblower’s identity from being revealed and to protect them from Detrimental Conduct, HOT may (in its absolute discretion) investigate a disclosure by conducting a broad review on the subject matter or the work area disclosed.

Employees, contractors and consultants of HOT must cooperate fully with any investigation conducted.

 

11.3  Communications to the Eligible Whistleblower

If the Eligible Whistleblower can be contacted, HOT will ensure that they are provided with regular updates in relation to their disclosure (for example, when an investigation is commenced, whilst in progress or upon completion), subject to the considerations of privacy and confidentiality of other persons or those against whom allegations are made. The frequency and timeframes for these updates may vary depending on the nature of the disclosure and the processes adopted in addressing the disclosure.

 

11.4  Outcome of Investigation

If an investigation is conducted by HOT, where possible a report will be prepared by the person leading the investigation which details the findings of the investigation.  The method for documenting and reporting the findings may vary and will be dependent on the nature of the disclosure and confidentiality considerations.

Relevant persons, including the Eligible Whistleblower, will be notified of the outcome of the investigation where appropriate in a manner which is deemed suitable by HOT (for example, in writing or in a meeting).  There may be circumstances where it may not be appropriate to provide details of the outcome of the investigation.  This will also be considered in the context of the need to preserve confidentiality.

If you make a disclosure or are involved in an investigation you are required to maintain confidentiality as directed by HOT and/or as required by law.

 

 

12. FAIR TREATMENT

 

HOT will endeavour, so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure the fair treatment of its employees who are referred to in a disclosure, including those that may be the subject of a disclosure.

To assist HOT in achieving this:

(a)  disclosures will be handled confidentiality, when it is practicable and appropriate in the circumstances;

(b)  each disclosure will be assessed individually;

(c)  the objective of an investigation will be to determine whether there is enough evidence to substantiate or refuse the matters report;

(d)  an employee who is the subject of disclosure will be advised about the subject matter of the disclosure as and when required by the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness prior to any action being taken and the outcome of the investigation;

(e)   an employee who is the subject of a disclosure may contact the EAP.

 

 

13. INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE

 

You may wish to seek independent legal advice in relation to the protections available under the Corporations Act.

 

 

14.  BREACH OF WB POLICY

 

HOT will continually monitor compliance with this WB Policy and retains the discretion as to how it addresses and investigates any suspected breaches of the WB Policy.  If a breach is found to have occurred by an employee, contractor or consultant of HOT, disciplinary action may follow up to and including termination of their engagement or employment with HOT.

 

 

15.  FURTHER INFORMATION

 

Please contact the Chief Operating Officer for further information in relation to this WB Policy, including information regarding the following (without making a disclosure):

(a)  how the WB Policy works;

(b)  what the WB Policy covers;

(c)  how a disclosure might be handled.

 

 

16.  RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

Please refer to the following related documents:

(a)  Employee Handbook;

(b)  Grievance Policy.

 

 

17.  ACCESS TO WB POLICY

 

This WB Policy will be accessible by officers and employees of HOT through the Oracle, Sharepoint and the Staff Handbook.  The WB Policy is also accessible online.

HOT will also provide training and education in relation to the WB Policy.

 

 

18.  DURATION OF THIS POLICY

 

The WB Policy was introduced in January 2020.  It will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate to HOT. It is a continuing process.

This version of the WB Policy may be applied, varied or withdrawn at any time at HOT’s discretion and is not intended to form part of any contract or agreement between any person and HOT.

Annexure A – List of Companies in Corporate Group

The following entities are part of the group of companies of House of Travel Pty Ltd:

(a)  House of Travel Pty Ltd

(b)  Specialist Travel Pty Ltd

(c)  TravelManagers Australia Pty Ltd

(d)  Specialist Holidays Pty Ltd trading as Hoot Holidays

 

Annexure B – Applicable Laws

For the purpose of Part 5.1(b) of the WB Policy the following laws are specified:

(a)  the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth);

(b)  the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth);

(c)  the Banking Act 1959 (Cth);

(d)  the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (Cth);

(e)  the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth);

(f)  the Life Insurance Act 1995 (Cth);

(g)  the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth);

(h)  the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth);

 

Annexure C – Regulatory Bodies

 

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/asic-investigations-and-enforcement/whistleblowing/

https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/asic-investigations-and-enforcement/whistleblowing/how-asic-handles-whistleblower-reports/

 

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

https://www.apra.gov.au/become-a-whistleblower-and-make-a-public-interest-disclosure

 

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/whistleblowers/

 

Annexure D – Public Interest Disclosures and Emergency Disclosures

The protections set out in the Corporations Act may also apply where an Eligible Whistleblower makes a Public Interest Disclosure or Emergency Disclosure to a parliamentarian or a journalist.  The protections only apply in limited circumstances (as set out in the table below).  If an Eligible Whistleblower makes a report to the public in another way (other than as set out below), the protections will not apply.

The table below sets out the requirements that must be fulfilled before Eligible Whistleblower can make a Public Interest Disclosure or Emergency Disclosure to a journalist or parliamentarian.  All criterion must be fulfilled to fall within the Corporations Act protections.

Criteria Public Interest Disclosure  Emergency Disclosure
Previous report The Eligible Whistleblower must have previously made a report to ASIC or APRA that satisfies the criteria set out in this WB Policy. The Eligible Whistleblower must have previously made a report to ASIC or APRA that satisfies the criteria set out in this WB Policy.
Time limit At least 90 days have passed since the Eligible Whistleblower reported the concerns to ASIC or APRA, and the Eligible Whistleblower does not have reasonable grounds to believe that action to address the concerns is being, or has been taken. No time limit.
Public interest / Emergency The Eligible Whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that reporting the concerns to a journalist or parliamentarian would be in the public interest. The Eligible Whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe that the information in your report concerns substantial and imminent danger to the health or safety of one or more people or to the natural environment.
Written notice to ASIC or APRA After 90 days from when the Eligible Whistleblower reported to the body whom received the initial report (e.g. ASIC or APRA), the Eligible Whistleblower must give ASIC or APRA a written notice that includes sufficient information to identify the earlier report and states the Eligible Whistleblower’s intention to make a public interest disclosure (e.g. by contacting the officer who considered the initial concerns and quoting the reference number of the case). The Eligible Whistleblower must give ASIC or APRA a written notice that includes sufficient information to identify the earlier report and states the Eligible Whistleblower’s intention to make an emergency disclosure (e.g. by contacting the ASIC officer who considered the concerns and quoting the reference number of the case).