Complaints and Whistleblowing

This page was updated 5 December 2019 to incorporate ASIC’s Regulatory Guidance

The amendments to the Corporations Act relating to protections for whistleblowers come into effect on 1 July 2019.

These protections must be afforded by all incorporated bodies including schools which are incorporated associations and schools incorporated by statute.

All schools which are companies limited by guarantee will also be required to have whistleblowing policies by 1 January 2020.

NESA also requires registered non-government schools to have in place and implement complaints policies and procedures:

  • in relation to complaints or grievances, with specific reference to processes for raising and responding to matters of concern identified by students and/or parents (3.6.2 student welfare requirement);
  • to set clear guidelines and expectations for stakeholders regarding complaints or allegations of staff misconduct or reportable conduct (3.6.1 child protection requirement); and
  • to publish the school’s complaint handling procedures regarding allegations of staff misconduct or reportable conduct (3.6.1 child protection requirement).

An initial Whistleblower Overview and draft Whistleblowing Policy was developed by AISNSW for member schools in June 2019. In November 2019 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released a Regulatory Guide which provides detailed information guidance as to how the whistleblower provisions in the Corporations Act should be interpreted. This material below takes into account the Regulatory Guide.

The material contains an outline of the requirements relating to whistleblowing and complaints and template policies which may assist schools in developing policies which are suitable for their operations. Principals and executive will need to log in to access these documents.

 Schools may also wish to obtain their own legal advice in relation to such policies.

Whistleblower Provisions Webinars

AISNSW Legal Consultant, Charles Alexander, and Senior Director School Services, Cathy Lovell, held webinars for AISNSW member schools in July 2019 to outline key elements of the whistleblower provisions and what it will mean for schools.

A recording of the webinar is available to AISNSW member school executives below.