How good is your current Whistleblower Program?
Our Speak Up Integrity Hotline program fits the bill. All of our programs are powered by ClearView Connects™, a robust and secure ethics reporting platform used in over 150 countries across the globe, enabling over 10 million employees, contractors, suppliers and stakeholders to speak up safely.
Our leading platform is fully customisable and provides your organisation with the flexibility to meet the requirements of your industry. Our team works with you to understand any legal obligations beyond the whistleblower law and specific business requirements, and takes care of the rest.
Accessible and easy to use, the platform is mobile enabled and provides your people with full access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from anywhere in the world. With a focus on security and creating trusted conversations, the platform enables truly secure two-way communications with anonymous reporters whilst improving engagement via the secure email notification functionality.
The built-in case management system allows you to review, respond and store all of your reports in a timely manner with indelible audit logs of all interactions. Get the insights you need to drive your risk and compliance activities. All data and reports are contained in a single secure instance with easy search, reporting and dashboard features.
The legislation as it relates to whistleblowing is contained in the Corporations Act here in Australia and requires all publicly listed companies (on the ASX for example) and large proprietary companies to comply with the provisions of the legislation.
This means having a compliant Whistleblower Policy and developing a program that supports compliance per the legislation (i.e. protecting whistleblowers, ensuring no detrimental conduct occurs to a whistleblower, defining how your whistleblower program works, how to make a report and what the company will do to assess, respond and manage protected disclosures).
That the issue they report is “reportable conduct” – that is an improper state of affairs within a company, an issue that may be a breach of law and carry a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more (fraud, theft, corruption etc) and other types of issues such as potentially safety issues, serious bullying and harassment etc
That the report is made to an ‘eligible recipient’ – the whistleblower must make the report to an eligible recipient and these include:
That the organisation itself is a prescribed organisation as defined under the legislation – a publicly listed company, a large proprietary company etc
Just because an organisation is captured under the legislation doesn’t mean they must have an externally managed hotline. They must have a compliant whistleblower policy and that policy must articulate a range of things (as outlined above) but the legislation does not specifically prescribe that organisations need an externally managed hotline such as the one we provide. However – it is considered best practice and more and more companies, even those not captured by the legislation, are looking to appoint an external hotline provider to improve the way they manage whistleblowing.
Part of the value proposition at Core Integrity is that we provide a safe pair of hands to help them manage the process.
Don’t just take our word for it! Learn how we work across corporate, government and professional sports to help our clients protect their people, reputation and bottom line. Discover our ‘Core Integrity Lifecycle’ approach and how we tailor our solutions to suit our client’s individual needs.
We partnered with Bingo Industries as an integrity-risk partner to develop and implement a Speak Up Integrity Hotline that supported Bingo’s values of working honestly and ethically.
Darren, Ian, Dylan and the team at Core Integrity bring a breadth of public and private sector experience to our team. Our staff now have a secure, confidential and safe way to speak up when they see something wrong in the workplace. The integrity hotline provides a vehicle for our staff to come forward in a confidential way should they wish to with the comfort that someone will listen and take the necessary action. Core Integrity have also provided us assistance in strengthening our fraud risk management processes and help us build strong intelligence networks with law enforcement and other agencies.
The team are committed, polished and professional – I would be more than happy to speak with anyone thinking about taking them on to share our experience.
A Speak Up Hotline is an independent and externally managed hotline program that provides multiple channels for people to speak up safely to report any issue, wrongdoing or illegal conduct that may be occurring in their organisation.
An independent and externally managed hotline provides organisations, and its employees, with a range of safe and secure reporting options which are managed by a team of trained experts.
Importantly, selecting a partner like Core Integrity provides your organisation with dedicated capacity to ensure reports can be actioned in a timely manner, it provides access to experienced capability to ensure your people have a positive reporting experience and ultimately it delivers a consistent approach which builds trust in your program over time.
Core Integrity are experts in the design, implementation and management of ethics, integrity and whistleblower hotline programs. Our clients rely on us to provide them tailored advice to set up a hotline program that not only helps them comply with their legislative and regulatory obligations, but also helps them create and maintain a safe speak up culture.
We partner with our clients over the long-term and continue to provide subject matter advice to ensure their hotline programs evolve with their changing needs.
Our main role is to provide a dedicated Triage and Assessment service where our experienced Speak Up Agents respond to all reports in the first instance. Our team build rapport, display empathy and take the time required to elicit the required information from your people in a trauma informed manner.
Our approach is centred around supporting you and your organisation to create a safe speak up culture. We do not place any limits on the number of reports that we take, and we are happy to take out of scope reports as we understand these can be important “listening” points for you and your organisation.
We are highly experienced at providing advice and support to help the effective management of protected disclosures and our clients often call upon us to assist in responding to sensitive and complex protected disclosure reports.
We provide our clients with multiple reporting channels so their people can choose the method of reporting that suits them best given their particular situation. These reporting options include telephone, email and traditional mail as well as secure online reporting options via a customised URL and QR code.
All reports received by the Core Integrity team are entered into our secure online reporting platform and triage and assessed accordingly before being referred to the appropriate person or department within the client organisation.
All reports are treated in the strictest of confidence, and we also accept anonymous reports. Our secure online reporting platform enables secure, two-way communications with both confidential and anonymous reporters. All communications are stored securely in the online platform and the identity of the reporter is protected at all times.
Core Integrity’s Speak Up Integrity Hotline programs are powered by our secure online platform – ClearView Connects.
The ClearView Connects platform enables the safe and secure reporting of issues and enables safe, secure two-way communications with both confidential and anonymous reporters.
All reports are allocated a unique report ID and reporters are able to access their report at any time by using their unique report ID and password. The platform sends email notifications to reporters any time there is activity or a status change on their report.
Anonymous reporters are able to enter their email address to receive notifications and this information is kept safe and secure. At no time will Core Integrity or the reporter’s organisation gain access to their email address, thereby enabling truly anonymous and secure reporting.
The ClearView Connects platform provides all of our clients with a single source of truth where all reports are managed securely. Even offline reports received by the organisation can be transcribed and entered into the platform to provide a single source of truth of your incident and complaint data.
Yes. We tailor all of our Speak Up Integrity Hotline programs to suit our clients and their specific needs.
Every client has the option of having their own program name (e.g., Speak Up Hotline), customised email address and a dedicated and unique URL and QR code for secure online reporting.
You can choose to have multiple reporting forms to encourage reporting from different groups, for example an internal reporting form for employees and an external reporting form for customers.
Each reporting form and the associated questions can be customised depending on your specific requirements to ensure you capture as much useful data as possible..
The platform also acts as a central case management repository and provides detailed reporting and visual dashboards for effective oversight of your program to mana
Our standard implementation takes around 4 weeks, client dependent. We can set up a hotline program much sooner if required, but on average it takes approximately 4 weeks.
The long-term success of your Speak Up program centres around doing the right thing consistently when responding to reported issues, however another crucial factor is how you promote your program internally across your organisation on a consistent basis, so it is ‘top of mind’ to all of your people.
Most of our clients do a really good job of promoting their program at launch, however the key to long-term success is to ensure that your Speak Up program becomes a normal part of your business and features regularly across multiple internal communication and awareness channels throughout the year.
Some key initiatives include:
We do more than simply provide you a Speak Up program. We are there with you through every report. Our experienced team are available to provide advice and support as you manage reports and can be engaged to conduct investigations as and when required.
We conduct quarterly Client Business Reviews (CBRs) where we will provide you with detailed reporting and insights on the performance of your program and ensure your program is performing at the optimum level.
Yes. In addition to providing our leading Speak Up Integrity Hotline programs, Core Integrity also offer other services across the integrity lifecycle.
Our service lines include:
If you are interested in learning more about our range of services, please get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
A whistleblower is an employee, contractor or person working in an organisation who reports an issue such as wrongdoing, a criminal act or some other serious misconduct occurring and who as a result of making that report is protected from having reprisal or detrimental action taken against them as a result of them “blowing the whistle”.
Whistleblowing is important because it is intended to encourage employees to report serious misconduct and potential criminal conduct to the company in order to stop the issue. Whistleblower legislation is intended to protect the whistleblower and ensure that companies (employers) don’t victimise or take detrimental action against the employee for speaking up.
No, but historically Whistleblowers have been treated poorly – where they have their identity exposed or confidentiality broken and have been subjected to detrimental conduct such as bullying, demotion, loss of opportunity or had their employment terminated. Hence this is why over the past 5 years or so most western countries have sought to strengthen their respective whistleblower laws in order to protect whistleblowers and to encourage employees to speak up. A whistleblower will only receive the protections of the legislation if they make the report in good faith – i.e. you can’t make a vexatious report or target someone unfairly (without basis) and expect to be protected under the legislation.
We don’t use that phrase, but what you are probably asking is “how can a whistleblower be treated badly?” or how does a whistleblower have their rights violated? Essentially this occurs when their name and identity is exposed to others without the whistleblowers consent (express consent is required to share the identity and information in their report with another party) or the whistleblower is exposed to detrimental conduct in the workplace such as being made redundant, demoted or bullied because they were a whistleblower
We have several. We have a standard 1800 toll free number that some clients use whilst most of our clients have a dedicated toll free number and we answer calls in the name of the organisation.
Any conduct that may be illegal, criminal or constitute a breach of a policy. Common issues reported include fraud, theft, bribery and corruption, bullying and harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, safety issues that breach workplace safety laws etc. Under legislation in Australia this is referred to as “reportable conduct”.
Complicated to answer but in short the first step is to assess whether a report constitutes / qualifies as a protected disclosure in the first place (must meet the 4 criteria I outlined above) and then depending on the issue the organisation needs to undertake a fair and independent investigation.
Yes. Each country usually has some form of whistleblower laws. In western democratic countries, and those trying to reduce bribery and corruption there has been a steady focus over the past 5 years to improve protections for whistleblowers. Australia has released new legislation in 2020, there are new laws across Euro countries, USA has certain legislation and Japan has updated their legislation.
In Australia we do not pay whistleblowers. This occurs in the USA in certain situations.
Per the above points.
Not necessarily. You need to have a reasonable basis but you don’t need to collect the evidence. The point of whistleblowing is to provide legislated protection to people who witness or uncover improper conduct in a workplace and encourage them to report it. The purpose is to hear about issues as early as possible which means you only need to suspect the issue, you don’t need to locate evidence or investigate as a regular employee.
Vexatious whistleblowing is where someone makes a false report of improper conduct in order to get retribution on another person or to distance themselves from the conduct.
Often serious fraud, corruption and other types of misconduct are committed by middle to senior management. Whistleblowing, and externally managed hotlines, are an effective method for detecting and uncovering these issues but because the perpetrator is often a senior person they can seek to minimise their conduct, discredit the whistleblower, sweep the issue under the carpet (ignore it) or take detrimental action against the whistleblower in order to protect themselves and their company. The culture around whistleblowing is changing slowly and the adoption of improved legislation across the world is helping in this regard.
A document that outlines the company’s position on whistleblowing and it details their commitment to whistleblowers, who can make a report, how to make a report, the process when a report is made and what they won’t do (i.e detrimental conduct). Download a free whistleblower policy template here.
We may need a detailed session on our value proposition but in short, leveraging my earlier point around more serious issues being committed by senior employees, global stats support that employees are more likely to speak up and report misconduct involving senior people to an independent hotline like Core Integrity. An independent and external hotline provider like Core Integrity provides the organisation with capacity (to receive reports around the clock to triage/assess and provide advice), capability (experience to speak with people, elicit information etc) and consistency (by following set SOPs and providing a high quality experience). We call this our 3C’s. We also have a secure technology platform that allows people to report both confidentially and anonymously. Anonymous whistleblowers can remain anonymous throughout the reporting process using our technology but also engage in the process, receive updates and provide further information. Additionally using a company like CI also helps provide advice to design and manage your whistleblower program to help reduce or minimise the risk of breaching the legislation.
Across the whole country – it is Commonwealth (not State based) legislation contained under the Corporations Act.
Speaking up for the right reasons with no hidden agenda or other motivations.
It Depends. Main answer is nothing. It is the role of the investigator to collect the evidence and assess the issues. The key is to encourage employees to speak up when they observe, see or experience an issue.
We need to explain. It is too hard to answer here. Book a consultation session with us.
Whistleblowers can report illegal issues, including crimes. It is illegal to breach the whistleblower legislation by exposing their identity without consent, not having a compliant whistleblower policy or taking detrimental action against a whistleblower. There are severe financial penalties at both an individual and corporate level.
Yes as detailed above.
We provide our clients with 5 reporting channels: Telephone, email, mail QR code, dedicated website url.
Yes, but in rare circumstances such as only if it is proven you made a vexatious complaint.
To provide protections for whistleblowers and to encourage them to report wrongdoing, illegal acts and an improper state of affairs in the company they work in. In Australia we have the Corporations Act which covers public and large private companies. For government departments and agencies it is called a Public Interest Disclosure and is covered under various State and Territory PID Acts.
See information above.
When an organisation uses a secure technology solution to support their whistleblower program. Such as the platform we use to support our Speak Up Hotline programs.
Get your score in under 2 minutes