Search

Whistleblower Policy

1. Background and Purpose

Employees and others working closely with My Emergency Doctor will often be the best source of information when things are not quite right. This Whistleblower Policy is an important element in detecting corrupt, illegal or other undesirable conduct at My Emergency Doctor.

The purpose of this Policy is to:

a) explain how to speak up by reporting concerns about wrongdoing;

b) outline what protections a person who reports wrongdoing will receive; and

c) outline My Emergency Doctor processes for dealing with reports of wrongdoing.

Creating a supportive environment where people feel safe to speak up underpins My Emergency Doctor’s culture. When people do not speak up, this undermines the culture and exposes risks. My Emergency Doctor encourages speaking up about concerns of wrongdoing at My Emergency Doctor. There are various measures in place to ensure no one is discouraged from speaking up or disadvantaged or victimised for doing so.

This Policy covers the processes for dealing with disclosures made by employees, officers, consultants, patients, their carers, stakeholders and our partner organisations of suspected improper conduct within My Emergency Doctor in a confidential and secure manner and is intended to apply to whistleblowers anywhere My Emergency Doctor operates.

My Emergency Doctor is committed to the highest standards of conduct and ethical behaviour in all of our business activities, and to promoting and supporting a culture of honest and ethical behaviour, corporate compliance and strong corporate governance.

This policy is available on the website of My Emergency Doctor.

This Policy supplements any other policies applicable to My Emergency Doctor.

In this Policy, anyone seeking to report any improper conduct is referred to as the “Reporter”.

 

2. Who may make a report

Anyone with information about potential wrongdoing relating to My Emergency Doctor is encouraged to report their concerns under this Policy.  This includes individuals who are or have been in relation to My Emergency Doctor:

a) an employee, officer or contractor;

b) A patient and/or their carer;

c) A partner organisation;

d) a supplier of services or goods to My Emergency Doctor (whether paid or unpaid) including their employees; and

e) a relative, dependant or spouse of any of the above individuals.

 

3. What to report

Any concerns of wrongdoing should be reported. This means any misconduct or improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to My Emergency Doctor.

Examples of wrongdoing may include:

a) breach of laws or regulations;

b) criminal activity including theft;

c) serious breach of My Emergency Doctor ’s Code of Conduct or Policies;

d) offering or accepting a bribe;

e) dishonest or unethical behaviour;

f) conflicts of interest;

g) anti-competitive behaviour;

h) financial fraud or mismanagement including in relation to My Emergency Doctor 's tax affairs;

i) falsifying financial or corporate reporting;

j) unauthorised use of My Emergency Doctor 's confidential information;

k) improper use of Personal Information as described in any My Emergency Doctor Privacy Statement;

l) improper use of My Emergency Doctor ’s physical or intellectual property;

m) conduct endangering health and safety or causing damage to the environment; and

n) deliberate concealment of any of the above.

Wrongdoing does not generally include personal work-related grievances. Grievances which cannot be resolved through speaking with peers or the employee’s manager should be raised via the company’s formal grievance resolution process. However, if a grievance may have significant wider implications for My Emergency Doctor, this can be reported through the same whistleblower process. There is an expectation that anyone reporting a wrongdoing has reasonable grounds to suspect the information they are disclosing is true, but there will be no detriment if the information turns out to be incorrect.

Those reporting are expected to provide the information upon which their suspicion is based, but are not required to have all the details or have conducted their own investigation.

Personal work-related grievances are not within the scope of this Policy and will be addressed through the applicable grievance resolution process. Personal work-related grievances relate to an employee’s current or former employment and tend to have implications for them personally. Examples include:

a) an interpersonal conflict between the employee and another employee;

b) a concern about the behaviour of an employee;

c) a decision relating to an employee’s engagement, transfer or promotion;

d) an employee’s terms and conditions of employment;

e) matters relating to an employee’s performance or discipline - related decisions; or

f) a decision relating to the termination of employment.

 

Who can disclosures be made to?

Disclosures should be made to My Emergency Doctor’s COO / Compliance Officer:

Chief Operations Officer

Compliance@MyEmergencyDr.com.au

Phone: 1800 123 633

 

Disclosures should preferably be emailed to the COO / Compliance Officer.  The Reporter   can also contact the COO / Compliance Officer by phone and request to speak to the COO / Compliance Officer to talk about a particular issue or to arrange a meeting instead.

Disclosures can also be made to the CEO Justin Bowra by contacting 1800 123 633.

The Reporter can also contact the COO / Compliance Officer to obtain additional information before making a disclosure.

It is important to note that under the Corporations Act, the Reporter may also raise the matter with any “officer” or “senior manager” of the company. These are defined in the Corporations Act as “a director, or a senior manager in the company who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the company, or who has the capacity to affect significantly the company's financial standing.”

Those not wanting to reveal their identity can make an anonymous report. However, providing the Reporter’s name when reporting wrongdoing will make it easier for My Emergency Doctor to investigate the concern raised. For example, the context in which wrongdoing was observed is likely to be useful information. Employees and others who report wrongdoing are protected by My Emergency Doctor including maintaining confidentiality of the reports and the identity of the Reporter.

Where no name is provided, My Emergency Doctor will assess the disclosure in the same way as if identity had been revealed, and any investigation will be conducted as best as possible in the circumstances. However, an investigation might not be possible unless sufficient information is provided.

Employees and stakeholders disclosing wrongdoing will be protected and the investigation will be conducted in accordance with the principles of fairness and natural justice.

 

4. Responsibility for Policy Compliance and Review

The COO / Compliance Officer for My Emergency Doctor is responsible for:

a) the overall administration of this Policy;

b) monitor the implementation of this Policy and will review on an ongoing basis the Policy's suitability and effectiveness.

c) seek to protect the Reporter from Detrimental Conduct (see Para 7);

d) assist the Reporter in maintaining wellbeing;

e) maintain the Reporter’s confidentiality, where relevant, including as required by law;

f) review and consider any complaints of Detrimental Conduct or any concern that disclosure has not been dealt with in accordance with this policy.

 

5. Protecting the Reporter’s identity

When reporting wrongdoing, the reporter’s identity and any information that My Emergency Doctor has as a result of the report that is likely to lead to identification, will only be disclosed if:

a) the person reporting gives consent for My Emergency Doctor to disclose that information; or

b) My Emergency Doctor considers such disclosure should be made to:

(i) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Federal Police or (for tax-related reports) the Commissioner of Taxation;

(ii) a Commonwealth authority or a State or Territory authority for the purpose of assisting the authority perform its functions or duties;

(iii) a lawyer for legal advice or representation in relation to whistleblower laws; or

c) in the case of information likely to identify the person reporting, it is reasonably necessary to disclose the information for the purposes of an investigation, and all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised people from discovering the reporter’s identity.

 

6. Detrimental Conduct Prohibited

My Emergency Doctor strictly prohibits all forms of Detrimental Conduct against whistleblowers. Detrimental Conduct means any actual or threatened conduct that could cause a detriment to the Reporter as a result of the Reporter making a disclosure, including:

a) termination of employment;

b) harassment, bullying or intimidation;

c) personal or financial disadvantage;

d) unlawful discrimination;

e) harm or injury, including psychological harm;

f) damage to reputation; or

g) any other conduct that constitutes retaliation.

My Emergency Doctor will take all reasonable steps to protect the Reporter from Detrimental Conduct and will take action it considers appropriate where such conduct is identified.

My Emergency Doctor also strictly prohibits all forms of Detrimental Conduct against people who are involved in an investigation of a disclosure in response to their involvement in that investigation.

 

7. Specific protections and remedies

The Australian law provides protections if a “protected disclosure” is made, including that:

a) the Reporter is not subject to any civil, criminal or administrative liability for making the disclosure (other than for making a false disclosure);

b) no contractual or other remedy may be enforced or exercised against the Reporter on the basis of the disclosure; and

c) in some limited circumstances (e.g. if the disclosure has been made to a regulator such as ASIC), the information provided may not be admissible in evidence against the Reporter in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty, other than proceedings in respect of the falsity of the information.

Except as provided in paragraph (c) above, the protections under Australian law do not grant immunity for any misconduct the Reporter has engaged in that is revealed in their disclosure.

Compensation and other remedies may also be available through the courts for loss, damage or injury suffered because of a disclosure or if My Emergency Doctor  failed to take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent detrimental conduct.

 

8. Investigations

Whistleblower disclosures made under this Policy will be documented and investigated promptly.

My Emergency Doctor takes all reports of potential wrongdoing seriously. All reports will be assessed and, based on the nature and circumstances of the disclosure, a decision made as to whether an investigation is required. For example, reports of potential wrongdoing of a minor nature that can be resolved informally will typically not require the same level of response as disclosures involving a large-scale and complex investigation.

Any investigation will be conducted in a timely, fair and objective manner, and independent from any persons to whom the report relates. Investigations will generally be overseen by the COO/Compliance Officer. Other people, including employees or external advisors, may also be asked to assist or run the investigation. Where possible, the person reporting the wrongdoing will be informed how My Emergency Doctor is responding to their report, including whether an investigation will be conducted.

Unless there are confidentiality or other reasons not to do so, employees who are the subject of a report of wrongdoing will be informed of the matters raised in the report at an appropriate time, and will be given a chance to respond to any allegations made against them. They will also be advised of the outcome of any investigation.

 

9. Special protections under Part 9.4 AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)

The Corporations Act gives special protection to disclosures about any misconduct or improper state of affairs relating to My Emergency Doctor if the following conditions are satisfied:

a) the Reporter is or has been:

(i) an officer or employee of My Emergency Doctor;

(ii) an individual who supplies goods or services to My Emergency Doctor or an employee of a person who supplies goods or services to My Emergency Doctor;

(iii) an individual who is an associate of My Emergency Doctor; or

(iv) a relative, dependent or dependent of the spouse of any individual referred to above;

b) the report is made to:

(i) a Compliance Officer;

(ii) an officer or senior manager of My Emergency Doctor;

(iii) ASIC;

(iv) APRA;

(v) 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;

c) the Reporter has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information being disclosed concerns misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances in relation to My Emergency Doctor. This may include a breach of legislation including the Corporations Act, an offence against the Commonwealth punishable by imprisonment for 12 months or more, or conduct that represents a danger to the public or financial system.

 

10. Examples

Examples of conduct which may amount to a breach of the Corporations Act include: insider trading, insolvent trading, breach of the continuous disclosure rules, failure to keep accurate financial records, falsification of accounts, failure of a director or other officer to act with the care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise, or to act in good faith in the best interests of the corporation or failure of a director to give notice of any material personal interest in a matter relating to the affairs of the company.

Other relevant provisions from the Corporations Act include:

a) the Reporter is immune from any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure;

b) no contractual or other remedies may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against the for making the report;

c) in some circumstances, the reported information is not admissible against the Reporter in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty; Such as where the disclosure has been made to ASIC or APRA, or where the disclosure qualifies as a public interest or emergency disclosure

d) anyone who causes or threatens to cause detriment to a Reporter or another person in the belief or suspicion that a report has been made, or may have been made, proposes to or could be made, may be guilty of an offence and may be liable for damages;

e) The Reporter's identity cannot be disclosed to a Court or tribunal except where considered necessary; and

f) the person receiving the report commits an offence if they disclose the substance of the report or the Reporter's identity, without the Reporter's consent, to anyone except ASIC, APRA, the AFP or a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation in relation to the report.

Confidentiality

If a report is made, the identity of the Reporter must be kept confidential unless one of the following exceptions applies:

a) the Reporter consents to the disclosure of their identity;

b) disclosure of details that might reveal the Reporter's identity is reasonably necessary for the effective investigation of the matter;

c) the concern is reported to ASIC, APRA, or the AFP; or

d) the concern is raised with a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation.

 

11. Special Protections under the Taxation Administration Act

The Taxation Administration Act gives special protection to disclosures about a breach of any Australian tax law by My Emergency Doctor or misconduct in relation to My Emergency Doctor‘s tax affairs if the following conditions are satisfied:

a) the Reporter is or has been:

(i) an officer or employee of My Emergency Doctor;

(ii) an individual who supplies goods or services to My Emergency Doctor or an employee of a person who supplies goods or services to My Emergency Doctor company;

(iii) an individual who is an associate My Emergency Doctor; or

(iv) a relative, dependent or dependent of the spouse of any individual referred to above;

b) the report is made to:

(i) a Compliance Officer;

(ii) a director, secretary or senior manager of My Emergency Doctor;

(iii) any My Emergency Doctor external auditor;

(iv) a registered tax agent or BAS agent who provides tax or BAS services to My Emergency Doctor;

(v) any other employee or officer of My Emergency Doctor who has functions or duties relating to tax affairs of the company (e.g. an internal accountant);

(vi) the Commissioner of Taxation; or

(vii) a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the whistleblower provisions in the Taxation Administration Act; and

c) the Reporter:

(i) has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information indicates misconduct, or an improper state of affairs or circumstances, in relation to the tax affairs of My Emergency Doctor or an associate of that company; and

(ii) considers that the information may assist the My Emergency Doctor recipient to perform functions or duties in relation to the tax affairs of My Emergency Doctor or an associate of the company;

d) if the report is made to the Commissioner of Taxation, the Reporter considers that the information may assist the My Emergency Doctor recipient to perform functions or duties in relation to the tax affairs of My Emergency Doctor or an associate of the company.

The protections given by the Taxation Administration Act when these conditions are met are:

a) the Reporter is immune from any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure;

b) no contractual or other remedies may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against the Reporter for making the report;

c) where the disclosure was made to the Commissioner of Taxation, the reported information is not admissible against the Reporter in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty, except where the proceedings are concerned with whether the information is false;

d) unless the Reporter has acted unreasonably, the Reporter cannot be ordered to pay costs in any legal proceedings in relation to a report;

e) anyone who causes or threatens to cause detriment to the Reporter or another person in the belief or suspicion that a report has been/may have been made, proposes to / could be made, may be guilty of an offence and liable to pay damages;

f) the Reporter’s identity cannot be disclosed to a Court or tribunal except where considered necessary; and

g) the person receiving the report commits an offence if they disclose the substance of the report or the Reporter’s identity, without the Reporter’s consent, to anyone except the Commissioner of Taxation, the AFP or a lawyer for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or representation in relation to the report.

 

Confidentiality

If a report is made, the identity of the Reporter will be kept confidential unless one of the following exceptions applies:

a) the Reporter consents to the disclosure of their identity;

b) disclosure of details that might reveal their identity is reasonably necessary for the effective investigation of the allegation

c) the concern is reported to the Commissioner of Taxation or the AFP; or

d) the concern is raised with a lawyer for the purpose obtaining legal advice or representation.