The board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that The Company has an appropriate risk
management framework to identify and manage risks.
The board is also responsible for determining the following in relation to the investigation of a Whistleblower report:
The board will determine any actions required arising from Whistleblower reports and the findings of investigations into Whistleblower reports.
MD is responsible for:
SM is responsible for receiving Whistleblower reports as an Eligible Recipient.
SM of PGA acts as WIO and an Eligible Recipient.
SM of PGA receives reports sent by Eligible Recipients.
SM of PGA as WIO is responsible to
SM of OP acts as WPO and an Eligible Recipient
SM of OP as WPO is responsible to
SM of OP is also responsible for reviewing and updating The Policy.
The Policy applies to all individuals who are or have been:
These individuals are eligible for protection as an Eligible Whistleblower under law and The Policy.
For the purpose of The Policy, matters that must be reported to The Company are suspected misconduct or an improper state of affairs (reportable conduct), which includes:
To make a Whistleblower report, you must have reasonable grounds to suspect reportable conduct has occurred. This means you have some basis for making a Whistleblower report, but you do not need to prove the reportable conduct occurred.
The Policy does not apply to personal work-related grievances, which include bullying and harassment, unless they relate to a Whistleblower report. It should be noted that such disclosures may be protected under other legislation, such as the Fair Work Act 2009, and should be reported under The Company’s Employee Handbook. Examples include:
The Policy does not apply to customer complaints about The Company.
The Independent whistleblowing service provider is an independent, external and confidential reporting channel with staff that are fully trained in handling sensitive and confidential reports of this nature and is The Company’s preferred channel for receiving Whistleblower reports. The Independent whistleblowing service provider is available anytime through the following channels:
Eligible Whistleblowers can remain anonymous if they wish and their identity will be protected in accordance with The Policy at all stages of the process, starting from their initial report and continuing through any investigation that takes place.
The Company does however encourage Eligible Whistleblowers to disclose their identity so that The
Company can better monitor their wellbeing and protect them against detrimental action. It could
also help The Company to obtain further information from the Eligible Whistleblower, should this be
required. The Eligible Whistleblower’s details will however remain confidential at all times. Refer
to Section 6 of The Policy for further information regarding anonymity and confidentiality of
Eligible Whistleblower information.
The preferred method of reporting Whistleblower reports is to the following Eligible Recipients:
If a Whistleblower report is made to an Eligible Recipient, other than the Independent whistleblowing service provider, the Eligible Recipient will forward the report to SM of PGA.
Whistleblower reports should include, to the extent possible, specific information such as dates, places, persons, witnesses, and amounts in order for The Company to consider next steps.
Nothing in The Policy should be taken as restricting an Eligible Whistleblower from making a report to a regulator (such as Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority), or a legal practitioner for legal advice or under certain circumstances a journalist or parliamentarian in accordance with any relevant law or regulation. The Company however encourages Eligible Whistleblowers to first report to the Independent whistleblowing service provider.
All Whistleblower reports made under The Policy are treated seriously and The Company is committed to ensuring that anyone making a Whistleblower report will not suffer detrimental action. An Eligible Whistleblower will still qualify for protection under The Policy even if their report is incorrect.
The Company understands that an Eligible Whistleblower may be worried about detrimental action. For every Whistleblower report received, the SM of OP will act as the WPO and will assess the risk of detrimental action to the Eligible Whistleblower and will take appropriate actions to provide protection.
No detrimental action will be taken by The Company against an Eligible Whistleblower in relation to a Whistleblower report whether substantiated or not substantiated by any subsequent investigation. Detrimental action includes:
The WPO may also be assigned to monitor the welfare of an Eligible Whistleblower, receive reports of actual or threatened detrimental action and provide feedback on the progress and results of the investigation.
Whistleblower reports will be treated confidentiality unless agreed otherwise. Eligible Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous, but The Company encourages them to disclose their identity. This will help The Company to monitor the Eligible Whistleblowers’ welfare and protect them against detrimental action. To maintain confidentiality, The Company will ensure that:
An Eligible Whistleblower’s identity will not be disclosed to anyone else unless:
Once a Whistleblower report has been received, the Eligible Recipient will send a disclosure report to SM of PGA. SM of PGA will report the disclosure report to MD
The MD will be responsible for assessing whether the matter will be handled under The Policy or
whether it will be handled as a personal work-related grievance. The MD will review the disclosure
report, assess the risk of detrimental action to the Eligible Whistleblower. The MD will report the
disclosure report to the board and seek an approval of what further action, such as a formal
investigation, is required.
The board will then determine:
The SM of PGA will be responsible for ensuring that all investigations are conducted in an objective and fair manner as is reasonable and appropriate having regard to the nature of the Whistleblower report and the circumstances. An investigation may be conducted using internal or external resources. Any person named in a report will be afforded procedural fairness in relation to any investigation conducted.
Feedback will be provided within a reasonable period after receipt of a Whistleblower report if the Whistleblower can be contacted by either the Independent whistleblowing service provider or the WPO. Where possible, feedback to the Whistleblower will also be provided during and after any investigation.
The findings of the investigation will be recorded in a final, anonymised report and will be reported to the MD by SM of PGA. The MD will report the anonymized report to the board and seek an approval of the recommended action points.
Whistleblower reports involving MD, SM of PGA and SM of OP will be handled with each substitute as follows. To avoid a potential segregation of responsibilities problem, it is suggested the board determines who will assume the responsibilities
In addition to the internal process within The Company, The Company will report within the framework of Section 7 to The Norinchukin Bank, the parent company in accordance with the policy put in place at The Norinchukin Bank.
The Policy is available on staff noticeboard in Notes and ongoing education and training regarding The Policy is available to employees through annual training.
The Company will review and update The Policy as and when necessary but at least every two years.
These Rules shall take effect and apply as of 13 Dec 2019.