5.11 It is preferred that Disclosing Persons identify themselves when making a disclosure, as this greatly assists the investigation process. However, Disclosing Persons may choose to make their disclosure anonymously. In these circumstances the protections under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme still apply. Ideally, the Disclosing Person should provide sufficient information to allow the matter to be properly investigated and Sealy encourages the Disclosing Person to provide an anonymous email address (if possible) through which additional questions can be asked and information provided.
5.12 Nothing in this Whistleblower Policy restricts the ability of a Disclosing Person to make a disclosure directly to ASIC, APRA or a prescribed Commonwealth authority, or a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or legal representation (in relation to the Whistleblower Protection Scheme). In certain specific circumstances, disclosures may also be made to journalists and members of parliament and Sealy recommends Disclosing Persons obtain independent legal advice in this regard. These disclosures also qualify for protection under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme.
Investigation of a Disclosable Matter
5.13 Upon receipt of a Qualifying Disclosure, an Eligible Recipient is responsible for ensuring that the matter is investigated as appropriate. This includes:
(a) deciding on the need for an investigation;
(b) appointing an investigation officer; and
(c) receiving timely updates as to the progress and completion of investigations.
5.14 An investigation will generally involve making inquiries and collecting evidence for the purpose of assessing whether the Qualifying Disclosure can be substantiated.
5.15 Sealy employees about whom disclosures are made will generally be given an opportunity to respond to the relevant allegations made in the Qualifying Disclosure.
6.1 A Disclosing Person will not be subject to criminal, civil or administrative liability (including disciplinary action) by Sealy for making a Qualifying Disclosure.
6.2 No contractual or other remedy or right may be enforced or exercised against the Disclosing Person on the basis of the Qualifying Disclosure.
6.3 Disclosing Persons who make some types of Qualifying Disclosures are also provided immunities to ensure that information they disclose is not admissible in evidence against them in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penalty, other than proceedings in respect of the falsity of the information.
6.4 Except as provided for by 6.3, the fact that someone has made a Qualifying Disclosure does not prevent them from being subject to any civil, criminal or administrative liability for conduct of the person revealed by the disclosure.
6.5 Under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme, Disclosing Persons making a Qualifying Disclosure are protected by the requirement that their identity and information that may lead to their identification, must be kept confidential, subject to relevant exceptions outlined below.
6.6 Exceptions to this are disclosures to ASIC, the Australian Federal Police, a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining advice about the application of the Whistleblower Protection Scheme or made with the consent of the eligible whistleblower.
6.7 The Disclosing Person’s identity and information which is likely to lead to the identification of the discloser can also be provided to any Commonwealth or State authority for the purpose of assisting the authority in the performance of its functions or duties. This includes, but is not limited to, the police in a relevant State or Territory or other authorities.
6.8 It is also permissible to disclose information which could lead to the identification of the discloser if the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the purpose of investigating the matter, if all reasonable steps are taken to reduce the risk that the discloser will be identified as a result of the information being disclosed.
6.9 Breach of these confidentiality protections regarding the discloser’s identity and information likely to lead to the identification of the discloser is a criminal offence and may be the subject of criminal, civil and disciplinary proceedings.
6.10 All Eligible Recipients must ensure that all information disclosed under this Policy is kept secure.
6.11 Disclosing Persons are protected under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme from victimisation and suffering any Detriment by reason of the Qualifying Disclosure. It is unlawful for a person to engage in conduct against another person that causes, or will cause Detriment in circumstances where the person believes or suspects that the other person or any other person made, may have made, proposes to make or could make a Qualifying Disclosure, including making threats of Detriment.
6.12 Employees of Sealy found to have engaged in detrimental conduct on this basis will be subject to disciplinary action. Any person that engages in detrimental conduct may also be subject to civil and criminal liability (including imprisonment) under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme.
6.13 Where appropriate, Sealy will take all action deemed appropriate to safeguard the interests of the Disclosing Person and to ensure they are protected from Detriment for making a Qualifying Disclosure.
6.14 If any person becomes aware of detrimental conduct occurring, they should report this to Sealy’s Managing Director and/or Sealy’s General Counsel.
7.1 If a Disclosing Person becomes concerned about possible illegal, unethical or otherwise improper conduct that they think is not being properly handled within Sealy, it is critical that they take steps to advise Sealy through this Whistleblower Policy.
7.2 Sealy will take all reasonable steps to investigate disclosures and communicate its findings to a discloser.
Reporting and Training Obligations
7.3 In addition to the obligations outlined elsewhere in this Whistleblower Policy, the General Counsel must report to the Sealy Board of Directors on at least an annual basis, and otherwise as necessary in relation to all material Whistleblowing matters.
7.4 Sealy will provide training and updates on a regular basis to ensure that all relevant personnel’s knowledge in relation to Whistleblower related laws and regulations remains current.
Interpretation of this Policy
7.5 Any questions in relation to the interpretation of this Whistleblower Policy should be forwarded to Sealy’s General Counsel.
8.1 A breach of the protections provided under the Whistleblower Protection Scheme will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter.
8.2 Any deliberately false disclosures under this Whistleblower Policy will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter.
9.1 A summary guide to the operation of this Whistleblower Policy is contained in Attachment “A” and will be adopted as part of the implementation of this Policy.
9.2 This Whistleblower Policy will be routinely reviewed and updated as required by law.
9.3 Sealy Fairness Policy.
9.4 This Whistleblower Policy is published on Sealy’s website and a copy provided to all Sealy employees.