Question: Can I fire or reprimand an employee for being a whistleblower?Answer:
No you cannot. Employees may be protected by Whistleblower Protections set out in the Part 9.4AAA Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) when they disclose or raise a concern about a possible breach of the Corporations Act for example trading whilst insolvent (s558G).
An employee may be a whistle-blower if they meet certain criteria including that they identified themselves when making the disclosure, they are an employee of the company and they made a disclosure to the director the company.
The disclosure must be made in good faith and the employee must have reasonable grounds to suspect that the directors or offices have breached the Corporations Act and is dependent upon the evidence that the employee has for raising the concern. Whistle-blowers have protection under the Corporations Act including against civil and criminal litigation and actions for breach of contract for disclosing information. The whistleblower is also protected from victimisation as a result of the disclosure. If the whistleblower’s employment is terminated because of a disclosure made under the Corporations Act, the whistleblower may ask a Court for an order that they be reinstated.
Employers cannot punish or victimise a whistleblower because of their disclosure.