1. Policy Statement
This policy provides for processes and protections provided by Patterson Cheney regarding the disclosure of Reportable Conduct.
We are committed to fostering a culture where you feel safe to speak up on matters that concern you. You are encouraged to speak up if you observe or suspect conduct that concerns you. We will support you throughout raising a concern and do not tolerate any form of retaliation or victimisation as a result of you speaking up in accordance with this policy. This policy aims to provide clarity on how Patterson Cheney supports you so that you:
• are encouraged to express your concerns;
• know how to express your concerns;
• know what will happen when you express your concerns; and
• feel safe in expressing your concerns.
This policy applies to Whistleblowers, who can be employees as well as others with a connection to Patterson Cheney such as contractors, suppliers, brokers and auditors or a relative or dependent of these individuals or their spouse.
This policy does not form part of any contract of employment or any industrial instrument.
All Patterson Cheney employees are covered by this Policy.
Making the disclosure:
This policy applies where you make a disclosure of Reportable Conduct to:
• Manager; or
• a Senior Leader; or
• the Human Resources Manager
Reportable Conduct means any conduct in relation to Patterson Cheney that is:
• in breach of internal policy (including the Code of Conduct);
• misconduct or an improper state of affairs in relation to Patterson Cheney; or
• a danger, or represents a danger, to the public or financial system.
When making a disclosure, you may do so anonymously. Whilst you are encouraged to share your identity when making a disclosure, as it will make it easier for Patterson Cheney to address your disclosure, you are not required to do so. I you do not share your identity, Patterson Cheney will assess your disclosure in the same way as if you had revealed your identity. However, there may be some practical limitations in conducting the investigation if you do not share your identity.
All information received from you will be treated confidentially and sensitively.
If you make a disclosure, your identity (or any information which would be likely to identify you) will only be shared if:
• you give your consent to share that information; or
• the disclosure is allowed or required by law (for example, disclosure to a lawyer to get legal advice relating to the law on whistleblowing).
In addition, in the case of information likely to identify you, if it is reasonably necessary to share the information for the purposes of an investigation, all reasonable steps should be taken to reduce the risk that you will be identified.
Role of the Human Resources Manager
You will have access to the assistance of the Human Resources Manager or nominee as provided in this policy. The Human Resources Manager or nominee’s role is to:
• seek to protect you from Detrimental Conduct;
• assist you in maintaining your wellbeing;
• maintain your confidentiality, where relevant, including as required by law;
• review and consider any complaints of Detrimental Conduct or any concern that your disclosure has not been dealt with in accordance with this policy; and
Detrimental Conduct prohibited
Patterson Cheney strictly prohibits all forms of Detrimental Conduct against you. Detrimental Conduct means any actual or threatened conduct that could cause a detriment to you as a result of you making a disclosure, including:
• termination of employment;
• harassment, bullying or intimidation;
• personal or financial disadvantage;
• unlawful discrimination;
• harm or injury, including psychological harm;
• damage to reputation; or
• any other conduct that constitutes retaliation.
Patterson Cheney will take all reasonable steps to protect you from Detrimental Conduct and will take action it considers appropriate where such conduct is identified.
Patterson Cheney also strictly prohibits all forms of Detrimental Conduct against people who are involved in an investigation of a Whistleblower Disclosure in response to their involvement in that investigation.
Some laws provide additional protection for certain disclosures by people who make them in accordance with the provisions of that legislation. These protections are designed to encourage people to disclose unlawful, improper or unethical behaviour to relevant parties.
Review of the Allegations
Human Resources Manager or nominee will carry out a preliminary review of the Whistleblower Disclosure and will decide whether the Allegations raised should be investigated. Whilst not all Whistleblower Disclosures will necessarily lead to an investigation, they will be assessed and a decision made as to whether they should be investigated. For example, the Human Resources Manager or nominee may decide that the Allegations were investigated previously and that a new investigation will not be undertaken
Patterson Cheney’s response to a Whistleblower Disclosure will vary depending on its nature (including the amount of information provided). The Human Resources Manager or nominee will advise you of the decision whether to investigate, unless the Human Resources Manager or nominee has no means to contact you.
If the Human Resources Manager or nominee decides that the Allegations will be investigated, the Human Resources Manager or nominee will conduct or commission an investigation.
Investigations will follow a fair process, be conducted in as timely a manner as the circumstances allow and be independent of the person(s) about whom an Allegation has been made. The Human Resources Manageror nominee will, as appropriate, provide you with feedback on the progress and expected timeframes of the investigation. Provided there are no restrictions or other reasonable bases for doing so, persons against whom an Allegation has been made will be informed of the Allegation and will have an opportunity to respond to any Allegation.
The investigation may conclude with a report from the Human Resources Manager or nominee or other investigator. The report will include findings onthe Allegations and a summary of the evidence on which the findings are based.
To the extent permitted under applicable laws, the Human Resources Manager or nominee may inform you and/or a person against whom Allegations have been made by you of the findings. Any report will remain the property of Patterson Cheneyand will not be shared with you or any person against whom Allegations have been made.
Escalations to the Human Resources Manager or nominee
You should immediately inform the Human Resources Manager or nominee if you are concerned that:
• you may be, are being, or have been subjected to Detrimental Conduct; or
• your disclosure has not been dealt with in accordance with this policy
The Human Resources Manager or nominee will consider the concerns you have raised and, if appropriate, may take such action as the Whistleblower Protection Officer considers appropriate. Although, the Human Resources Manager or nominee may not be able to take action if you wish to remain anonymous.
Reporting to regulators:
Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict you from disclosing Reportable Conduct, providing information to, or communicating with a government agency, law enforcement body or a regulator in accordance with any relevant law, regulation or prudential standard applicable in a jurisdiction in which the Group operates.
Reasonable basis for making the disclosure:
When making a disclosure, you will be expected to have reasonable grounds tosuspect the information you are disclosing is true. You will not be penalised if the information turns out to be incorrect. However, you must not make a report you know is not true, or is misleading. Where it is found that you knowingly made a false report, this may be a breach of the Code of Conduct and will be considered a serious matter that may result in disciplinary action.
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to adapt to evolving and continuing change in digital communications andthe law.
Where the Policy changes, Patterson Cheney will notify employees of such changes.