Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety (“WIS”), a division of the Wesfarmers Limited group of companies, is committed to the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour in all of its business activities, and to promoting and supporting a culture of honest and ethical behaviour, corporate compliance and good corporate governance. This Policy applies to the following business units within WIS:
- • J. Blackwood & Son Pty Limited trading as Blackwoods
- • Bullivants Pty Limited trading as Bullivants
- • Coregas Pty Limited trading as Coregas
- • Greencap Pty Limited trading as Greencap
- • The Workwear Group Pty Limited trading as Workwear group.
WIS encourages the reporting of any instances of suspected unethical, illegal, fraudulent or undesirable conduct involving WIS businesses and provides protections and measures so that those persons who make a report may do so confidentially and without fear of intimidation, disadvantage or reprisal.
This policy will be made available to WIS officers and employees via the intranet and in such other ways as will ensure the policy is available to employees and persons wishing to use it.
2. WHAT IS REPORTABLE CONDUCT?
You may make a report under this policy if you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a WIS director, officer, employee, contractor, supplier, tenderer or other person who has business dealings with WIS has engaged in conduct ("Reportable Conduct") which:
• is dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt, including bribery or other activity in breach of the WIS Anti-bribery Policy;
• is illegal activity (such as theft, violence, harassment or intimidation, criminal damage to property or other breaches of state or federal law);
• is unethical or in breach of WIS’ policies (such as dishonestly altering company records or data, adopting questionable accounting practices or wilfully breaching Wesfarmers’ Code of Conduct or other policies or procedures);
• is potentially damaging to WIS, a WIS employee or a third party, such as unsafe work practices, environmental damage, health risks or abuse of WIS’ property or resources; • amounts to an abuse of authority;
• may cause financial loss to Wesfarmers or WIS or damage its reputation or be otherwise detrimental to the interests of Wesfarmers or WIS;
• involves harassment, discrimination, victimisation or bullying, other than personal work-related grievances as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ("Corporations Act"); or
• involves any other kind of misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances.
Reportable Conduct generally does not include personal work-related grievances. These are grievances which relate to a current or former employee’s employment or engagement that have implications for only that person and do not have broader implications for WIS or the Wesfarmers Group.
• a conflict between you and another employee;
• a decision relating to your promotion or transfer;
• a decision relating to the termination of your employment.
Such matters should be raised directly with your manager or through your Human Resources Grievance process.
In limited circumstances, a personal work-related grievance may amount to Reportable Conduct under this policy, such as where the grievance relates to conduct that has been taken against a person because they made a report under this policy. WIS expects that reports made under this policy are made honestly, ethically and on reasonable grounds.
Annexure A describes special protections for whistleblowers who disclose information concerning misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to Wesfarmers or a related body corporate under the Corporations Act.
Annexure B describes special protections for tax whistleblowers.
3. WHO CAN I MAKE A REPORT TO?
WIS has several channels for making a report if you become aware of any issue or behaviour which you consider to be Reportable Conduct:
A report may be made via the RightCall service, an independent external hotline and reporting service. RightCall reporting options are:
• by phone: 1800 177 212 (within Australia) +61 499 221 005 (outside Australia); or 0800 402 735 (New Zealand);
• by SMS: 0499 221 005 (within Australia);
• by email: email@example.com;
• web-based access: www.rightcall.com.au/wes;
• by post: in an envelope marked “confidential” and addressed to: RightCall Manager
PO Box 24371 Melbourne VIC 3001.
A report may also be made in writing to any one of the WIS Protected Disclosure Officers listed below:
|WIS GM Finance||Dan McArtney||Email: Dan.McArtney@wisau.com.au|
|WIS Chief People Officer||Sam Sheppard||Email: Sam.Sheppard@blackwoods.com.au|
|Wesfarmers Legal Counsel||Shaun Barnett||Email: SBarnett@wesfarmers.com.au|
Reports may also be posted to c/- Level 4, 26 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113 (marked to the “confidential” attention of one of the Protected Disclosure Officers).
You may also raise the matter with an “officer” or “senior manager” within WIS. This includes a director or a senior manager who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of WIS, or who has the capacity to affect significantly WIS’s financial standing.
4. WIS INVESTIGATION OF REPORTABLE CONDUCT
WIS will investigate all matters reported under this policy as soon as practicable after the matter has been reported. A Protected Disclosure Officer may, with your consent, appoint a person to assist in the investigation of a report. Where appropriate, WIS will provide feedback to you regarding the investigation’s progress and/or outcome (subject to considerations of the privacy of those against whom allegations are made).
The investigation will be conducted in an objective and fair manner and otherwise as is reasonable and appropriate having regard to the nature of the Reportable Conduct and the circumstances.
While the particular investigation process and enquiries adopted will be determined by the nature and substance of the report, in general, as soon as practicable upon receipt of the report, if the report is not anonymous, a Protected Disclosure Officer or investigator will contact you to discuss the investigation process including who may be contacted and such other matters as are relevant to the investigation.
Where a report is submitted anonymously, WIS will conduct the investigation and its enquiries based on the information provided to it.
5. PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS
WIS is committed to ensuring confidentiality in respect of all matters raised under this policy and that those who make a report are treated fairly and do not suffer detriment.
- (a) Protection against detrimental conduct
• Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, demotion, harassment, discrimination, disciplinary action, bias, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with making a report.
• If you are subjected to detrimental treatment as a result of making a report under this policy you should:
Inform a Protected Disclosure Officer or senior manager within your business unit immediately; or
raise it in accordance with paragraph 3 of this policy.
(b) Protection of your identity and confidentiality
Subject to compliance with legal requirements, upon receiving a report under this policy, WIS will only share your identity as a whistleblower or information likely to reveal your identity if:
• you consent;
• the concern is reported to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC"), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority ("APRA"), the Tax Commissioner or the Australian Federal Police ("AFP"); or
• the concern is raised with a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation.
If WIS needs to investigate a report, it may disclose information that could lead to your identification, but it will take reasonable steps to reduce this risk.
Any disclosures of your identity or information likely to reveal your identity will be made on a strictly confidential basis.
All files and records created from an investigation will be retained securely.
Unauthorised release of information to someone not involved in the investigation (other than senior managers or directors who need to know to take appropriate action, or for corporate governance purposes) without your consent as a whistleblower will be a breach of this policy.
Whistleblowers are assured that a release of information in breach of this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and will be dealt with under WIS' disciplinary procedures.
The Corporations Act gives special protection to disclosures about breaches of that Act, provided certain conditions are met – refer to Annexure A for further details.
The Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) ("Taxation Administration Act") also gives special protection to disclosures about breaches of any Australian tax law, provided certain conditions are met– refer to Annexure B for further details.
6. DUTIES OF EMPLOYEES IN RELATION TO REPORTABLE CONDUCT
It is expected that WIS employees who become aware of (or, suspect on reasonable grounds) actual or potential cases of Reportable Conduct will make a report under this policy or under other applicable policies.
7. GROUP REPORTING PROCEDURES
Divisions/business units and Protected Disclosure Officers (as appropriate) will report to the divisional/business unit boards on the number and type of whistleblower incident reports annually, to enable Wesfarmers to address any issues at a divisional/business unit and/or Wesfarmers Group level.
These reports will be made on a ‘no names’ basis, maintaining the confidentiality of matters raised under this policy.
The Audit and Risk Committee will receive copies of all divisional/business unit board whistleblower reports, and whistleblower reports from Protected Disclosure Officers (as appropriate). In addition, serious and/or material Reportable Conduct will be considered by the Protected Disclosure Officers for immediate referral to the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee.
8. AMENDMENT OF THIS POLICY
This policy cannot be amended without approval of the WIS Board. It will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it remains effective and meets best practice standards and the needs of WIS.
LAST AMENDED October 2021
Annexure A - Special Protections under the Corporations Act1
The Corporations Act gives special protection to disclosures about any misconduct or improper state of affairs relating to WIS if the following conditions are satisfied:
If the report is made to: a. a Protected Disclosure Officer;
b. an officer or senior manager of a WIS company concerned;
c. WIS's external auditor (or a member of that audit team)2;
d. an actuary of a Wesfarmers Group company3
f. APRA; or
g. 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.
Examples of conduct which may amount to a breach of the Corporations Act include:
The protections given by the Corporations Act when these conditions are met are:
Guidelines for managing whistleblower reports under the whistleblower laws
The WIS Whistleblower Policy sets out a summary of WIS' commitment to the protection of whistleblowers. The policy applies to support and protect persons who become aware of actual or suspect, on reasonable grounds, potential cases of Reportable Conduct.
2 Attached is a form of consent to enable complaints to be disclosed to an Authorised Person for proper investigation.
3. Whistleblower laws protect a whistleblower’s confidentiality and against detrimental conduct towards them for making a report. It is therefore critical that such reports are treated with the upmost confidentiality and addressed according to this guideline.
4. Severe penalties may apply where a whistleblower’s identity is revealed in breach of whistleblower laws or they are subjected to detrimental conduct, including in relation to their employment, as a result of making a report under this Policy.